Francisco de Goya

Judith Decapitating Holofernes (Judit decapitando a Holofernes)

Judith Decapitating Holofernes (Judit decapitando a Holofernes)
Datos Generales
1824 - 1825
Private collection
8.7 x 8.5 cm
Técnica y soporte
Watercolor on ivory
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Private collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
05 May 2010 / 29 Aug 2022

See Maja and Celestina.

This work formed part of the collection of Edward Habich, in Cassel, together with a number of other miniatures. It was auctioned in Stuttgart by Gutekunst between 27 and 28 April 1899 (lot number 302). It was sold again at Christie's of New York on 31 January 1997 (lot number 219), going into a private collection.

Análisis artístico

For the artistic and technical analysis of the complete series, see Maja and Celestina.

The story of Judith and Holofernes is one of the more popular biblical themes with artists. General Holofernes, sent by Nebuchadnezzar to punish those peoples who had refused to join up with Babylon, laid siege to the city of Bethulia, where the Hebrews were trapped. Judith ended the siege by deceiving the general with her beauty. He invited the young woman to a banquet and, once he had fallen down drunk with wine, Judith cut off his head with his own scimitar, thereby freeing her people in the name of God (Judith, 13:7-9).

The most commonly represented moment of the story is that of the beheading itself. This was not the first time that Goya had painted the subject, as his work Judith in the Black Paintings series testifies. Unlike that wall painting, however, the Judith of this miniature has her back to the viewer as she readies herself to deliver the killing blow to the sleeping Holofernes, whose face is visible on the left-hand side of the composition.

  • Goya’s last Works
    The Frick Art Collection
    New York
    consultant editors Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi. From February 22nd to May 14th 2006
  • SAYRE, Eleanor
    Goya’s Bordeaux miniatures, , , Boston, 1966
    Museum of Fine Arts Boston BulletinLXIV, 337
    p. 116, cat. 9
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 362, cat. 1881
  • vol. I, p. 386, cat. 741
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 136, cat. 672
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 218
  • BROWN, Jonathan y GALASSI, Susan Grace
    Goya’s last works
    New YorkThe Frick Collection and Yale University Press
    p. 144, cat. 21 y p. 145 (il.)
Enlaces externos
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