Name of Object:
Judith in the Tent of Holofernes
Date of Object:
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Jacques Stella (1596, Lyon-1657, Paris)
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Oil on slate
h: 30 cm; w: 36 cm
Type of object:
The work may have been acquired by Cardinal Scipione Borghese during the years that the French artist was in Rome (1623–1634), but it is not documented in the collection until 1650. The delicate medium shows a night scene illuminated by the light of candelabra. The Biblical heroine is shown kneeling in the act of asking God for the strength she needs for the bloody murder she is about to commit, while the unknowing Holofernes sleeps in a luxurious canopy bed decorated with a heavy silk damask that reflects the light of the flame.
This is an unusual representation of an iconographic theme. The gestural expressiveness of the protagonist and the phenomenal lighting reflect the divine assistance given to Judith. Through faith she finds the strength to accomplish the bloody act of decapitating Holofernes.
Scipione Borghese (?)
How Object was obtained:
The Borghese Collection was acquired by the Italian State in 1902.
Della Pergola, P., Galleria Borghese. I dipinti, I, Rome, 1955, n.220, p. 122.
Additional Copyright Information:
Copyright image: Archivio fotografico Soprintendenza Speciale PSAE e Polo Museale della Città di Roma.
Citation of this web page:
Sofia Barchiesi, Marina Minozzi "Judith in the Tent of Holofernes" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=object;BAR;it;Mus11;48;en