Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Title

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Painting on wood

The Book of Judith in the Old Testament tells the story of the jewess Judith, who impressed the assyrian ruler Holofernes with her beauty after he had occupied the jewish town of Bethulia. Judith takes advantage of this and murders the drunk Holofernes. A young woman dressed in a dark

The Book of Judith in the Old Testament tells the story of the jewess Judith, who impressed the assyrian ruler Holofernes with her beauty after he had occupied the jewish town of Bethulia. Judith takes advantage of this and murders the drunk Holofernes. A young woman dressed in a dark dress and wearing a dark hat with white feathers stands against a dark monochrome background. The dress is embroidered with gold and around her neck she wears a band and a chain. She holds a sword in her right hand and in her left hand she grasps the curls on the forehead of the decapitated head of a bearded man lying on a plate.

The Cranach workshop painted numerous versions of this subject. The versions closest to the Wörlitz painting are a version in the Metropolitan Museum New York and one in the National Gallery Dublin. To the left of the head of Holofernes is the signature and date 15 AD 25. This later addition served to associate the painting with the artist Albrecht Dürer who was highly esteemed in the 18th century.

[Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz; http://museum-digital.de/san/index.php?t=objekt&oges=36113; accessed 30 March 2015]

Attributions
Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder
Lucas Cranach the Elder

Attributions

Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Melzer 2005, 54, 58 Fn. 28] [Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz; http://museum-digital.de/san/index.php?t=objekt&oges=36113; accessed 30 March 2015]

Lucas Cranach the Elder
Production date
about 1530
Dimensions
Dimensions of support: 41.8 x 29.2 / 28.8 (top / bottom) x 1 cm

Dimensions

  • Dimensions of support: 41.8 x 29.2 / 28.8 (top / bottom) x 1 cm

  • [cda 2015]

Signature / Dating
At the left beside the head of Holofernes signature added later '15 AD 25', not original.

Signature / Dating

Inscriptions and Labels
Reverse of the support, at the bottom, left: remains of three red seals

Inscriptions and Labels

Stamps, Seals, Labels:

  • Reverse of the support, at the bottom, left: remains of three red seals
  • [Görres, cda 2015]
Owner
Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz
Repository
Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz, Gotisches Haus (The Gothic House)
Location
Wörlitz
CDA ID
DE_KsDW_I-54
FR (1978) Nr.
FR-none
Persistent Link
https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KsDW_I-54/

Provenance

  • 'Gothisches Haus' Wörlitz (old no. 1475)
    [Melzer 2005, 54, 58 Fn. 28]

Exhibitions

Lübeck 2021, no. 37

Literature

Reference on page Catalogue Number Figure / Plate
Exhib. Cat. Lübeck 2021 227 037 Fig. p. 227
EditorDagmar Täube
TitleLucas Cranach der Ältere und Hans Kemmer. Meistermaler zwischen Renaissance und Reformation [Lübeck, St. Annen-Museum]
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2021
Exhib. Cat. Wörlitz 2015 116-117
EditorKulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz
EditingWolfgang Savelsberg
TitleCranach im Gotischen Haus in Wörlitz, [Wörlitz, Gotisches Haus, 15 May - 4 Oct. 2015]
SeriesKataloge und Schriften der Kulturstiftung Dessau Wörlitz
Volume35
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2015
Melzer 2015 B 156 7
AuthorReinhard Melzer
TitleDer Cranach-Bestand des Gotischen Hauses
Publicationin Kulturstiftung Dessau-Wörlitz, ed., Cranach im Gotischen Haus in Wörlitz, Exhib. Cat. Wörlitz
Place of PublicationMunich
Year of Publication2015
Pages149-162
Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz 2005 54
EditorHarald Marx, Karin Kolb, Ingrid Mössinger
TitleCranach Anlässlich der Ausstellung Cranach vom 13. November 2005 bis 12. März 2006 in den Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. Eine Ausstellung in Kooperation mit der Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister der Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Place of PublicationCologne
Year of Publication2005
Melzer 2005 54, 58 Fn. 28
AuthorReinhard Melzer
TitleCranach in Wörlitz. Das Gotische Haus als frühe Sammlungsstätte altdeutscher Malerei
Publicationin Harald Marx, Ingrid Mössinger, Karin Kolb, ed., Cranach. Exhib. Cat. Chemnitz
Place of PublicationCologne
Year of Publication2005
Pages44-58
Hartmann 1913
AuthorAdolph Hartmann
TitleDer Wörlitzer Park und seine Kunstschätze
Place of PublicationBerlin
Year of Publication1913
  • Judith with the Head of Holofernes, about 1530

Images

Compare images
  • overall
  • overall
  • reverse
  • irr
  • uv_light
  • detail

Technical studies

03. 2015Technical Examination

  • reverse

Support

- the original format of the support including the barb has to a greater extent been preserved

- the upper and lower third of the panel exhibit applications of tow in two horizontal strips

- the original surface on the reverse has been preserved and exhibits horizontal marks from a block plane. There is a rebate on all four sides

- remnants of paint on the reverse, possibly from a coat-of-arms

[Heydenreich, cda 2015]

  • examined by Gunnar Heydenreich

03. 2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • Infrared reflectography
  • irr

Underdrawing

BESCHREIBUNG

Tools/Material:

- fluid black medium, brush

Type/Ductus:

- economic freehand underdrawing, only partially visible

- thin lines

Function:

- relatively binding for the final painted version; lines delineate the main contours and define essential details; no representation of volume with hatching-strokes

Deviations:

- minor alterations made during the painting process to clearly define forms; no visible changes

INTERPRETATION

Attribution:

- Workshop Lucas Cranach the Elder

[Sandner, Smith-Contini, Heydenreich, cda 2015]

  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich
  • photographed by Ingo Sandner

2015Technical examination / Scientific analysis

  • UV-light photography
  • uv_light
  • photographed by Gunnar Heydenreich

Condition Reports

Date03. 2015

poor wood quality

[Heydenreich, cda 2015]

  • examined by Gunnar Heydenreich

Citing from the Cranach Digital Archive

Entry with author
<author's name>, 'Judith with the Head of Holofernes', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KsDW_I-54/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})
Entry with no author
'Judith with the Head of Holofernes', <title of document, data entry or image>. [<Date of document, entry or image>], in: Cranach Digital Archive, https://lucascranach.org/en/DE_KsDW_I-54/ (Accessed {{dateAccessed}})

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