Most commonly, Judith is depicted carrying Holofernes’ head home in a basket, or simply holding it. There is a smaller set of paintings that show the actual execution. I think that Elisabetta Sirani was the first, but definitely not the last, to paint Judith’s moment of triumph: she has returned to Bethulia and shows the head to her fellow citizens.

The exact date of the painting is unknown, but Elisabetta Sirani died young and was active only for about ten years between 1655 and 1665.

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