(b. 1593, Roma, d. ca. 1653, Napoli)

Judith and Her Maidservant

Oil on canvas, 114 x 93.5 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

This grisly subject was enduringly popular. Once upon a time in Florence, the subject stood for the city's proud republicanism. By the time Gentileschi made this work, probably for Cosimo II de' Medici, Florence was a grand duchy and the Baroque, with all its monumental and realistic cruelty, held sway.