|Judith Beheading Holofernes by Caravaggio 1598-99 Oil on Canvas|
|Judith and Holofernes by Valentin de Boulogne 1626 Oil on Canvas|
|Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi 1611-12 Oil on Canvas|
This painting is much more interesting to me, considering the back story. Painted only a dozen years after Caravaggio's, it turns out Artemisia's famous painter father was a follower of Caravaggio. Artemisia was raped by her own painter mentor, and it went to trial. She lost, of course. It was the 17th century. But she continued painting. She placed herself as Judith, and she is above and not beside Holofernes, dominating him physically as perhaps her rapist dominated her. The maidservant is more involved, as if she stands for all women who are enraged by their friend's victimization. Gentileschi's biographer said the depiction was "a cathartic expression of the artist's private, and perhaps repressed, rage."