Tintoretto's "Judith and Holofernes"

Essay by mehlongmaCollege, Undergraduate March 2006

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Tintoretto was a Venetian painter of the late Italian Renaissance. He was born in 1518 and died in 1594. He was influenced by Titian and Michelangelo. Tinteretto's real name was Jacopo Robusti. He was nicknamed Tintoretto, meaning, " little dyer" because his father was a dyer. The particular painting I will focus on is called " Judith and Holofernes" . It was painted with Oil on canvas, in c.1577-1578 and is 1,88 x 2,51 m. It is now located in the Museo del Prado, Madrid.

There are three people in the painting - Judith, her maidservant and Holofernes. Judith's maidservant is on the left side of the painting and she is wearing a yellowish-white dress. Judith is wearing a blue dress and is placed in the middle of the painting which draws our attention to her action. On the right side is Holofernes' body on his bed and on the right of the maidservant is his decapitated head.

Holofernes is wearing a white loincloth. There is a bright red curtain over the bed and many other rich, warm colors in this painting. It emphasizes the gory act that is occurring. There is some of Holofernes armor on the table and there is a wash bowl on the floor. The two panels of the tent are slightly open and so we can see a landscape of mountains in the night sky. We can get a sense of depth and perspective.

The intended purpose of the artwork was to depict the story which was in a book of apocrypha from the Roman Catholic Old Testament. Apocrypha is a Greek word meaning 'hidden' and were left out of the Old Testament by the Protestants. St. Augustine thought the apocrypha was divinely inspired although others were not sure of its authenticity. God...