Judith and Holofernes (c. 1495) by Andrea Mantegna

Judith and Holofernes - Mantegna, Andrea - c

Artwork Information

TitleJudith and Holofernes
ArtistAndrea Mantegna
Date1495 - 1500
MediumTempera on wood
Dimensions11 7/8 x 7 1/8 in. (30 x 18 cm)
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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About Judith and Holofernes

Andrea Mantegna was an Italian artist born in Isola di Carturo in 1431. He is renowned for his works which reflect his strong knowledge of perspective and his use of mathematical proportions when designing paintings. One of the most iconic pieces he created was “Judith with the Head of Holofernes”, commissioned by Marquis Ludovico Gonzaga in 1495. The masterpiece is a depiction of a story from the Bible, where Judith beheaded Holofernes in Bethulia to save her people. The painting lives currently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and reveals the skill and attention to detail that Mantegna possessed during its creation.

It is no surprise that many appreciate this painting as it captures some of Mantegna’s most sophisticated technique. As a nod to his skill and talent, another one of his works, “Camera Degli Sposi” was painted between 1474-1477 at Palazzo Ducale in Mantua. In this piece, Mantegna documents the story of Federico I Gonzaga’s marriage to Isabella D’Este through their unique outlook into the room called Camera Degli Sposi. Here he includes numerous three-dimensional elements on this two-dimensional surface, illustrating yet again his technical prowess as an ancient master painter.

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