The above image is a design by Frank Barbara
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The Book of Judith has 16 chapters and tells the story of a Jewish widow who single-handedly defeats an invading Assyrian army by lying her way into the army’s camp, befriending the General
Holofernes, and assassinating him by means of decapitation.

The Book of Judith is considered a part of the Apocrypha, which is now not a part of the traditional Protestant Biblical canon. This may account for the large number of Italian depictions of the story, as it remained a part of the Catholic Biblical canon.

“She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes’ head, and took down the sword that hung there.  She came close to his bed and took hold of the hair on his head and said, ’Give me the strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!’ And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head form his body.  The she tumbled his body off the bed and pulled down the canopy from its posts; after a moment she went out, and gave Holofernes’ head to her maid, who placed it in her food bag.  The the two of them went out together, as they were accustomed to go for prayer; and they passed through the camp and circled around the valley and went up the mountain to Bethulia and came to its gates. Judith called out from afar to the watchmen at the gates, “Open, open the gate! God, our God, is still with us, to show his power in Israel, and his strength against our enemies, even as he has done this day!” (Judith 13:6-11)

Interactive Timeline of all of these pieces can be found here:

Recently Added Items

Conrat Meit's 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes'


Medium: Alabaster
Currently Located: Bavarian National Museum, Munich, Germany

Unknown artist's 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes'


Medium: Woodcut
Currently Located: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, U.S.A.

Elisabetta Sirani's 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes'

412px-Elisabetta_Sirani_-_Judith_with_the_Head_of_Holofernes_-_Walters_37253 (1).jpg

Medium: Oil on canvas
Currently Located: Walters Museum, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A