Cher photographed in a lace dress (1967, ph. Arnaud de Rosnay)

Cry-Baby (1990)




Winona Ryder in Night on Earth, Jim Jarmusch (1991)


 ”Approaching to his bed, she took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day! And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him.” (Judith, 13:7-8).”

Judith slaying Holofernes once by Michalangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1598) and once by Artemisia Gentileschi (1620)

The similarities are easy to see, mostly since Gentileschi was obviously influenced by Caravaggio. It´s the differences that are the most interesting: The first Judith is almost frail and the knife seems to cut through like through butter. The soft lighting and the red cloth mark it as a theatrical stage, it is altogether rather removed from reality. Her face shows a blend of concentration and disgust.

In the second Judith is a butcher and is altogether shown as more direct in sexuality and brutality. She shows cleavage, she holds him down with force. She is not a young fair maiden, her face shows no regret. It is a much uglier protrayal but also more honest. It takes the idealisation out of the deed. 

Which one one prefers is a matter of taste, of course.


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