This is one of her paintings from a series of paintings depicting the death of Assyrian General Holofernes entitled Judith Slaying Holofernes. Religious imagery was one of the main focuses of at the time, and the death of Holofernes was a popular topic to paint. Many other artists painted this scene, but none of them embodied the Baroque spirit as well. This a dramatic, gruesome painting where you can see the effort it is taking to cut his head off. The women can barely hold him down as blood spurts out onto them and the bed underneath. Gentileschi used the chiaroscuro (the dramatic contrast of dark and light) method to light the arms in diagonals, forcing your eyes to the carnage. The background is dark and full of swirling brushstrokes.
Judith and her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes is considered Gentileschi’s masterpiece. This painting also uses chiaroscuro to throw strange, unnerving shadows across Judith. It is in tenebroso, which is a painting “in a dark manner”. It depicts the moments after the beheading in the previous painting when they are waiting to flee. You can visibly see the tension in their faces as they wonder whether they will be caught.
Not all of her paintings were gruesome, and she also painted many pictures of women in their daily lives. This was most likely due to the fact that it was considered improper at the time for women to study the male body, so she was only able to study the female anatomy e...
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... of peace on Michelangelo’s David, he has a look of intense concentration on his face. It’s almost as if you followed his line of sight, you’d see Goliath too. It is incredibly dynamic, and he seems to be moving as he twists back to load his slingshot for that fabled shot. His clothing seems to be forcefully yanked with him as if to illustrate just how much force he is putting into the action.
Both the Renaissance and the Baroque periods were important to the development of art today. I chose two sculptures of the same subject to illustrate how drastically ideals in art can change in a relatively short period of time. If Michelangelo’s David can be compared to Classical Greek sculpture, Bernini’s David can be compared to Hellenistic Greek sculpture. It is interesting to see what patterns art repeats over time, as well as new innovations that will affect the future.
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