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Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni
Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni - Paintings & Drawings Style Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni -
Ref : 99189
24 000 €
Period :
17th century
Provenance :
Italy
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
l. 47.24 inch X H. 54.33 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni 17th century - Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni
Galerie Thierry Matranga

Old paintings, religious artifacts, archeology


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Judith and the head of Holofernes - Bolognese school around 1650, follower of Guido Reni

Oil on canvas. Follower of Guido Reni, Bologna, mid 17th century.
This large painting depicts Judith, the young princess heroine of a biblical story who saved the city of Bethulia (Judea) by beheading the Babylonian general Holofernes who was besieging the city with his army. Unlike the contemporary versions of the subject that swarmed after Caravaggio, the painter does not show the violence of the act but the aftermath; Judith poses proudly, holding her sword like a violinist playing her bow. About to be slipped into a sack, Holofernes' head with its corpse-like complexion contrasts with the diaphanous beauty of the young princess, highlighted by a Caravaggio-like play of light. The amplitude of the draperies gives a feeling of movement to the whole. Her long turban tied in her hair and reaching down to her shoulder evokes the Orient, like the Judith painted by Guido Reni around 1620 (preserved in the Birmingham Museum of Art). The serene heroine of the Jewish people looks out from the composition with a delicate smile.
This composition was inspired by a model painted by Virginia da Vezzo around 1624 for her admission to the Academy of Saint Luke in Rome, and which was interpreted in engraving some years later by Claude Mellan. If the composition is reminiscent of the female half-figures of Simon Vouet - whose wife Virgnia da Vezzo was - our painter moves away from the Roman manner of the latter. His palette is marked by cooler tones dominated by gray and where skin tones seem immaculate and cold compared to the warmth of Roman paintings. We can see the influence of Guido Reni's style who, in the 1630s, lightened his chromatic range by adding "an immoderate amount of lead white" according to his biographer Malvasia.

Our painting is beautifully highlighted by a carved and gilded wooden frame.
Dimensions: 117 x 99 cm - 138 x 120 cm with frame

Guido Reni (Bologna, Nov. 4, 1575 - Id., August 18, 1642) was one of the most influential Italian painters of his time. Symbol of the Bolognese school, his style is marked by the manner of the artists of the beginning of the Renaissance, whose drawing tends to the search of an ideal of beauty. He was nevertheless a fully Baroque painter at the time of the Counter-Reformation, using chiaroscuro and painting rolled-up gazes to convey the divine ecstasy that animated his subjects. An accumulation of gambling debts at the end of his life pushed him to increase the production of his studio. Thus, he surrounded himself with numerous apprentices who later extended his art, such as Giovanni Andrea Sirani (1616-1670) whose style is similar to our painting.

Bibliography :
- BONFAIT, Olivier, Simon Vouet en Italie, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2011.
- Simon Vouet: the Italian years, 1613-1627, Chavanne Blandine, Guigon Emmanuel, (cat. exp., Nantes, November 21, 2008 - February 23, 2009; Besançon, March 27 - June 29, 2009), Paris, Hazan, 2008.
- SPEAR, R. E., The 'Divine' Guido: Religion, Sex, Money and Art in the World of Guido Reni, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1997.
- Guido Reni, 1575-1642, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth 5 September - 10 November, 1988.
- PIRONDINI Massimo - NEGRO Emilio, La scuola di Guido Reni, Artioli, Modena, 1992

Galerie Thierry Matranga

CATALOGUE

17th Century Oil Painting