Elisabetta Sirani's Judith with the Head of Holofernes
Rubinski, Jessica Cole
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This thesis examines the life and artistic career of the female artist, Elisabetta Sirani. The paper focuses on her unparalleled depictions of heroines, especially her Judith with the Head of Holofernes. By tracing the iconography of Judith from masters of the Renaissance into the mid-seventeenth century, it is evident that Elisabetta’s painting from 1658 is unique as it portrays Judith in her ultimate triumph. Furthermore, an emphasis is placed on the relationship between Elisabetta’s Judith and three of Guido Reni’s Judith images in terms of their visual resemblances, as well as their symbolic similarities through the incorporation of a starry sky and crescent moon.