Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Judith

Judith was adored 'so as to allure the eyes of all men that should see Her'. The apocryphal Old Testament Heroine entered the the tent of the Assyrian general Holofernes, Her people's enemy, seduced him, got him drunk and chopped off his head.
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) painted many versions of Judith. His Heroines are court beauties with pink cheeks, an almost Mona Lisa enigma in Their expressions, flowing golden locks and white cleavages visible beneath rich necklaces. Their velvet hats, tight bodices and white gloves are making Them the height of fashion. But They hold a wide-bladed sword aloft and expose Holofernes's severed head.
The contrast between charming, calm, beautiful, sweet and clean seducer-assassin, Her unblemished hair and clothes, clean sword and gory lifeless head with exposed muscles and tubes resting under Her hand stress sexual tension and we understand that She used all Her beauty and magic in Holofernes's tent to get what She wanted. She is the Dominatrix.

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