It seems that Hans Baldung Grien was the first artist to paint Judith in the nude. It is no coincidence that this picture was done by a supporter of the Protestant reformation, at the time (ca. 1525) when this movement was really gaining momentum, Luther’s translation of the New Testament had been printed a few years earlier. Biblical nudes are a typical Protestant theme, Catholic (especially Italian) painters are on the whole more likely to draw from ancient mythology.

It is also one of only two fully nude Judith’s I’m aware of, the the other one was painted by Jan Sanders van Hemessen fifteen years later.

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