Arty Limerick! Another poetic treat by Harriet Israel

Artemesia Gentileschi, Judith and the maid with the head of Holofernes, Pitti Palace, Florence

An ode to Judith with the Head of Holofernes – 08/2/11

Gentileschi depicted three faces

in a quite economical space as

though they’d been disturbed

(they look fairly perturbed

as they rush to hide murderous traces.)


The painting is Artemesia Gentileschi’s ‘Judith with her Maidservant’ painted 1613-14 and hanging in the Pitti Palace. The story of the beautiful widow Judith beheading the Assyrian General Holofernes, who was about to destroy her native town of Bethulia, was a favourite subject for Gentileschi.

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