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Cristofano Allori (1577-1621)

Judith with the Head of Holofernes Signed and dated 1613

RCIN 404989

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Acquired by Charles I from the Duke of Mantua, this painting was sold for £60 at the Commonwealth Sales to one of the 14 Dividends. In the Old Testament, Judith, a beautiful Jewish widow, decapitated the Assyrian general Holofernes with his own sword. Allori supposedly modelled Judith on a woman with whom he had a doomed love affair. The severed head of Holofernes is a portrait of the artist himself.

Collection of Charles I, sold for £60 to George Green, 23 October 1651, returned to the Crown at the Restoration.

Ex. cat.