Image

Judith

Giovanni Battista Salvi, Judith, 17th century. Oil on canvas,  Monastery of San Pietro, Perugia, Italy.

This detail from Judith by Giovanni Battista Salvi (1609–85) is part of a larger painting in the Benedictine monastery of San Pietro in Perugia, Italy. Salvi was trained under the Bolognese painter Domenichino, and his work also shows the influences of Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, and, most important, Raphael. Judith is one of few public commissions by Salvi in existence. It is likely that he primarily concentrated on creating small images of the Madonna for private patrons, fueled by a surge in demand for personal devotional paintings during the Counter-Reformation. In these paintings, the Virgin Mary wears a demure smile, not unlike the sweet, albeit stoic, expression that Judith wears in this painting.

Giovanni Battista Salvi, Judith. Oil on canvas, 17th century.

The Roman Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation's emphasis on scripture over ritual, works, and hierarchy.

A sixteenth-century movement in Europe that questioned the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.

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