Judith Slaying Holofernes (in Chicago)

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

Artemesia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes (c. 1620) is coming to Chicago!


This famous painting is one of the quintessential images of gender and violence in the early modern period, as well as one of the masterpieces of one of the most famous women artists ever.

The Art Institute of Chicago is hosting an exhibition built around the Gentileschi painting, focusing on the theme of Judith in art.

The Art Institute of Chicago’s website states: “An exceptional loan from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Artemisia Gentileschi’s sensational Judith Slaying Holofernes (c. 1620) comes to Chicago for the first time. In this monumental picture, Artemisia Gentileschi—the most famous 17th-century Italian woman artist—captured the decisive moment of the biblical narrative of Judith. To save the Jewish people, Judith savagely decapitated the Assyrian general Holofernes. Rather than focus on the ideals of beauty and courage inspired by the Jewish heroine, as did many other…

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