Judith is the fulfilment of a childhood dream.
At the age of 16 I had the dream of making a large-scale old master-style painting once. Coming of age in Salzburg, a beautiful town in Austria with an amazing number of richly decorated baroque churches, I was deeply impressed by their large and powerful altarpieces . The big-sized paintings tell their story with great expression, inner dramatic movement and rich colouring in great painterly perfection.
Judith is a gigantic copy in my own personal painterly style of the relatively small religious painting
Judith and Holofernes of Italian Baroque painter Cristoforo Allori (1577 – 1621), see image below.
The story of Judith and Holofernes is biblical. The beautiful Jewish widow Judith seduces and beheads the Babylonian military leader Holofernes saving her people in times of war.
In my painting I have changed one important detail: Judith is not carrying the head of Holofernes, but her own. This gives the painting a different and ambiguous meaning.
Martin C. Herbst, 2008