- The Collection
- In depth
- In Depth. Judith at the banquet of Holofernes, Rembrandt
- Iconography: Artemisa, Sophonisba, Judith before Holofernes
Iconography: Artemisa, Sophonisba, Judith before Holofernes
The iconography of this painting is puzzling and is the issue that has aroused most debate in relation to this canvas.
The stories of Artemisa and Sophonisba (both of whom have been proposed as the subject of the painting) were popular in literature and painting in the 17th century and were frequently confused due to their similarity. Furthermore, it has recently been suggested that the painting depicts Judith before Holofernes. All three stories were used to convey the idea of patriotism and/or marital fidelity.
- Summary (pdf file; 90KB) of 'New Iconographic Interpretation: Judith at the banquet of Holofernes', by Teresa Posada Kubissa, in the catalogue raisonné of 17th century Dutch Painting in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2009