“The Lord Struck Him Down by the Hand of a Female!”: Seventeenth Century Artists Depicting Judith in the Renaissance

  • Tina M Delis George Mason University
Keywords: Gender, Art, Judith and Holofernes, Caravaggio, Gentileschi


Gender themed Research Project, using the biblical story of Judith and Holofernes to examine how Baroque artists tackled representing Judith as a female figure who openly subverts the Renaissance gender norms by defeating a male. Focusing on the artists, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Orazio Gentileschi and Artemisia Gentileschi, the paper explores through visual analysis how each artist approached representing the gender issue within the biblical narrative in their artwork. The biblical narrative is discussed and two well-disseminated published articles about gender roles are reviewed. Additionally, how the Counter-Reformation and the Catholic Church's assertive stance for the purpose of art effects how images of Judith are painted.

Author Biography

Tina M Delis, George Mason University
Art History, Graduate student