Thursday, April 2, 2009

Judith and Salome

Comparing this two paintings the most surprising thing for me is their similarity. The heads are nearly the same. Nevertheless they illustrate two totally different stories. First we see Judith with the head of Holofernes and then Salome with the head Of St John The Baptist.

Both were painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the 1530s. But the resemblance of the two figures wasn't only his problem, it stretches through art history. Many times Judith and Salome seemed to be the same person.

There are only a few signs that could help to distinguish them.

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Typical for Judith is the sword, because she did the killing herself. But there are some cases when Salome too is shown with a sword.

Salome with the Head Of St John The Baptist

Very typical for Salome is the plate. If she's not performing her famous dance she's nearly every time wearing ist - Judith never.

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