The Return of Judith

Botticelli, The Return of Judith, 1470. Tempera on wood, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

Sandro Filipepi (1444–1510), better known as Botticelli, is perhaps the best-known Florentine Renaissance painter, having produced many works under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici. The Return of Judith was painted together with The Discovery of the Body of Holofernes around 1470, the same year Boticelli separated from his teacher Filippo Lippi and opened his own workshop. Wielding her sword, Judith walks forward in a contraposto stance characteristic of women in Boticelli’s paintings, such as Primavera. Her expression is at once forlorn and determined. Behind Judith, her maid follows rapidly, balancing Holofernes’ head in a sack on her own head. This work has been in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence since 1632.

Botticelli, The Return of Judith, 1470. Tempera on wood, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

A general of Nebuchadnezzar who attacked Israel, according to the Book of Judith, but was ultimately beheaded by Judith.

Support (especially monetary) that is bestowed from one person or organization to another, or a system of such support. Patronage typically flows from the more powerful to the less powerful in society.

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