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Judith and Holofernes
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti (Workshop of)
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Judith and Holofernes

Ca. 1577. Oil on canvas, 188 x 251 cm.

Traditionally catalogued as a work from Tintoretto's youth, the dating of this painting has been moved to the late fifteen-seventies by recent studies. The artist draws on the Bible story (Judith 13, 9-11) but his reading of the subject is not erotic. Here, Judith wears her finest clothing to seduce Holofernes, rather than appearing nude, as was habitual in Italian Renaissance art. The action takes place in the tent of an Assyrian general and the painter has meticulously recreated its interior, carefully reproducing the quality of the metal and glass objects therein. Judith is at the center of the composition, and the bloody sword she used to decapitate Holofernes and thus free the Jewish people from his tyranny lies at her feet. The cadaver lies on a bed to her left, while a maid gets ready to put his head in a sack. The scene was clearly intended to be hung above eye-level, which explains the pronounced scorci of the bodies of Holofernes and the servant, as well as the strange perspective of the bed and table. This work belonged to the Marquis of La Ensenada and was acquired in 1760 for the Royal Collection. It is listed in the 1772 inventory of the Royal Palace.

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Technical data

Inventory number
P00391
Author
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti (Workshop of)
Title
Judith and Holofernes
Date
Ca. 1577
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 188 cm.; Width: 251 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collectionl (col. Marqués de la Ensenada, Madrid; adquisición de Carlos III, 1768; Palacio Real, Madrid, pieza de oratorio, 1814-1818, s.n.).

Bibliography +

Inventario Palacio Nuevo. 1772, Madrid, 1772.

Thode, Henry, Tintoretto, Delhagen and Klafling, Bielefeld.Liepzig, 1901, pp. 72.

Osmaston, F.P.B., The art and genius of Tintoret, G.Bell and Sons Ltd., Londres, 1915, pp. 212.

Hadeln. D. Von., Early Works by Tintoretto, THE BURLINGTON MAGAZINE, 40/41, 1922.

Bercken, Erich von der, Jacopo Tintoretto, R.Piper, Munich, 1923, pp. 184/ lám.4.

Pittaluga, Mary, Il Tintoretto, Nicola Zanichelli, Bolonia, 1924, pp. 275.

Fosca, François, Tintoret, Albin Michel, Paris, 1929, pp. lám.76.

Tietze, Hans, Tintoretto. The Paintings and Drawings, Phaidon, Londres, 1948, pp. 58.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Bernari, Carlo, La obra pictorica completa de Tintoretto, Noguer, Barcelona, 1974.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: pintura italiana anterior a 1600, Gredos, Madrid, 1979, pp. 215,216.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 690.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Pallucchini, Rodolfo, Tintoretto: le opere sacre e profane, Electa, 1990, pp. 210-211 L.480.

Bettagno, Alessandro, El Museo del Prado, Fonds MercatorFundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 306.

Castillo-Ojugas, Antonio., Una visita médica al Museo del Prado, You & Us, Madrid, 1998, pp. 109.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del PradoAldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 266.

Salort Pons, Salvador, Velázquez en Italia, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánic, Madrid, 2002, pp. 130.

De Tiziano a Goya : grandes maestros del Museo del Prado =Fr..., Museo Nacional del Prado: SEACEX, Madrid, 2007, pp. 239.

Giandomenico Tiepolo y sus retratos de fantasía: el artista en la Corte, Banca March, 2014, pp. 47.

Other inventories +

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. s. n..
Pieza de Oratorio [...] {21558} 4 varas largo dos y media alto Judit cortando la cabeza de Holofernes - id. [Jacobo Tintoreto]

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 672.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 672.
Tintoretto. / 672. Judit y Holofernes. / Judit, despues de haber dado muerte á Holofernes cubre con las ropas del lecho su cadaver, que se ve postrado en el á la derecha del espectador; á la izquierda está la criada arrodillada delante de Judit metiendo en el saco la cabeza del general asirio. Por el mismo lado se ve una mesa con mantel, y mas lejos el campamento. / Alto 6 pies, 9 pulg; Ancho 9 pies.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 436.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 391.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 391.

Exhibitions +

Before the Curtain. Behind the Veil: Revelation and Concealment since the Renaissance
Düsseldorf
01.10.2016 - 22.01.2017

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
Shanghai
13.09.2007 - 12.11.2007

From Titian to Goya. Great Masters from the Museo del Prado
Beijing
29.06.2007 - 24.08.2007

Location +

(Temporary Exhibition)

Update date: 27-09-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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