Bernardo Strozzi (?),
Judith with the head of Holofernes

Bernardo Strozzi (?),
Judith with the head of Holofernes

Bernardo Strozzi (?), Judith with the head of Holofernes
Canvas, 68×90 cm + frame 15 cm, Inv. n. 11

In this work, Judith is portrayed in a close-up while walking with the head of Holofernes on a plate and a knife in her left hand; two men are observing the scene from a distance.

The attribution of this painting has been debated heatedly; until 1922 it was exhibited as having been created by Tiepolo, then various other names were proposed; more recently there is a concurrence with the attribution made by Golfieri to Bernardo Strozzi, the author of a series of Judith, Salome, and Delilah holding the decapitated heads in their hands or on trays.

Bernardo Strozzi was born in Genoa in 1581 and entered the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins at the age of seventeen, where he continued to paint. The popularity of his works enabled him to obtain permission to leave the Order, although his departure gave rise to several difficulties.

He produced many works for the Doria family, who were Genovese nobility. This situation made it possible for him to broaden his artistic knowledge, consolidate his fame as a painter, and to participate in some prestigious undertakings.

The artist produced a plethora of works, but with little variety in the subjects replicated by him or by his pupils.

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