In this essay I will describe the elements that make up Judith Cutting Off the Head of Holofernes by Trophine Bigot, a Baroque artist. This work is an oil painting on wood panel from 1640. It is part of the permanent collection at the Walters Museum in Baltimore Maryland.
The painting is of a close up scene occurring between two females and a male. Behind the people there are red curtains parting open. It is the only part of the back ground that is visible to the viewer. The rest is in dark shadows, with only the subjects being illuminated. The man is lying on a bed, while the women are standing to either side of him. The point of view for the viewer is as if they are standing behind the bed. Bigot’s painting depicts a scene from the book of Judith in the Catholic Old Testament.
The woman to the left of the man, Holofernes, is Judith. She is leaning over him with a sword, in the middle of cutting off Holofernes’s head. Her right hand in holding onto the sword handle, while her left hand in pushing down on the blade. Holofernes is trying to prevent her from decapitating him by grasping on her left shoulder. Judith is wearing a dark blue dress with white sleeves that are rolled up. Her blond hair is braided and kept under her head dress, with only a small bit of hair loose on her left side. The head dress is red with gold and pearls on it.
The other woman in the painting is Judith’s servant. She is wearing a green and yellow dress and a turban on her head. She appears much older than Judith and has wrinkles on her face. The servant is holding three candles in her right hand, which are the only light source in the painting. Her left hand is holding down Holofernes hand to keep him from struggling against the two women. The facial expressions of Judith and her servant are calm and serene. They appear unfazed by the violent act they are committing.
Holofernes is lying on the bed covered in a brown blanket from the torso down. His head...
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