Judith and Holofernes

Gender and attire

Gender stereotypes: Desirer / object of desire

The figure of Judith, like others from the Old Testament, is the subject of many paintings and sculptures beginning in the Renaissance period. The book bearing her name narrates the story of this Biblical heroine, a beautiful and pious widow who commends herself to God to save her people from the siege of Holofernes. While the narration does not specify at any point that she seduces and tricks the general, the representations of a nude or semi-nude Judith have conferred upon her the image of a distorted heroine, underlining the fact that women can use their power of seduction to lead men to ruin.