The Artist Birthday Series

Caravaggio

"Judith Beheading Holofernes," 1598
“Judith Beheading Holofernes,” 1598

The model for Judith is probably the Roman courtesan Fillide Melandroni, who posed for several other works by Caravaggio around this year; the scene itself, and especially the details of blood and decapitation, were presumably drawn from his observations of the public execution of Beatrice Cenci a few years before.

caravaggio-judith-face

caravaggio-holofernes-face

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