Judith And The New Frau In German Art Research Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Art Type: Research Paper Paper: #89811867 Related Topics: Painting, Arts, Baroque, Women
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Who Assassinated Holofernes?

The assassination of Holofernes is depicted in the Old Testament in the Book of Judith as an act of trust in God carried out through Judith. The Book of Judith tells the story of the Assyrians laying siege to the Israelites. The Israelites are afraid, while Judith, characterized as beautiful, chaste of full of trust in God, alone hatches a plan to settle the matter. She leaves with her maid Bethulia for Holofernes camp to ingratiate herself to him. He becomes drunk both by alcohol and her beauty. In his intoxicated state, he becomes her victim in his tent that night, as she decapitates him, causing the Assyrians to scatter in fear now that their leader has been killed. She returns to Israel and remains chaste. Two works of art that depict this story are Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi (1614) and Franz Stucks Judith and Holorfernes (1927). Both works depict Judith in a violent, sensual waythe main difference beaing that whereas the Baroque artist Gentileschi shows Judith revealing only a modicum of bosom while decapitating Holofernes, Stuck shows Judith as completely nude wielding a sword about to do the slaying.

Gentileschi was a Baroque Italian artist, who painted during the time of the Churchs Counter-Reformation, an era in which the Roman Catholic Church was in an ideological and military battle with the Protestant Reformation. The Baroque movement was known for its dramatic characterization of people, themes, and events. Works of art during this period often reinforced Catholic notions. Gentileschis painting, which hangs in The Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy, shows the dramatic moment at which Judith killed the enemy of the Israelites.


Stuck was a modern German artist who followed in style of Art Nouveau and the work of Gustave Klimt. He often depicted women in the nude to create sensual images, but his works are also more impressionistic than that of the realism…women were taking on new personas in the 20th century to embody this spirit of the new woman of the age. Judith in Stucks painting would have been seen as echoing the spirit of the age of the New Fraua spirit in which women used their charms of seduction freely.

The value of these works to the current generation as well as to future generations may be that each represents a Biblical mystery from the perspective of a certain time and place. Gentileschi shows Judith from the perspective of the Counter-Reformation; Stuck shows her from the perspective of the new woman. Todays generation could use these images both to understand current social dynamics and how a religious theme transitioned into a social one over time. Future generations are likely to benefit from these works by looking at them to see how styles of art work have changed over the centuries while still using the same stories, only using those stories to…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Wade, Mara. "The Reception of Opitz's" Judith" During the Baroque." Daphnis 16.1(1987): 147.

West, Shearer. The Visual Arts in Germany, 1890-1940: Utopia and Despair (NewJersey: Rutgers University Press, 2001.

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