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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Mon 01 Jan, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject: Judith's Sword         Reply with quote

In the 1621 Gentileschi painting "Judith slaying Holofernes," Judith is using a sword that obviously was painted from life but appears truncated at the tip. Does anyone know of such a configuration in a surviving sword? It appears to be a recontoured break, but I'm not sure-


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Judith slaying Holofernes.jpg


"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2007 2:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It doesn't look strange to me at all. Some katzbalger blades certainly look like that, and I've seen some Oakeshott type XIX blades as well as later Renaissance examples in that shape. Of course, some of these swords are suspected of having been broken and repaired, so your conjecture might be correct after all.
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2007 3:16 am    Post subject: Re: Judith's Sword         Reply with quote

Bill Love wrote:
In the 1621 Gentileschi painting "Judith slaying Holofernes," Judith is using a sword that obviously was painted from life but appears truncated at the tip. Does anyone know of such a configuration in a surviving sword? It appears to be a recontoured break, but I'm not sure-


As that is a 'modern' sword of the time, painted in a scene of the ancients, it's possible the painter had been told they 'used shorter swords back then' and just cut off the tip as a result.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a pretty widely painted scene and many depictions seem to show a shorter sword, though a few are longer. Perhaps that was a traditional view (Assyrians or Holofernes used short swords or something). Here are some more paintings of the subject. Note the sword lengths.

Alessandro Botticelli. Judith's Return to Bethulia. c.1469-1470
http://www.abcgallery.com/B/botticelli/botticelli3.JPG

Caravaggio. Judith Beheading Holofernes. c.1599
http://www.abcgallery.com/C/caravaggio/caravaggio22.JPG

Correggio. Judith. 1512-1514 (This one is hard to make out, but if you look hard at the outline of the sword, it appears short)
http://www.abcgallery.com/C/correggio/correggio8.JPG

Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith with the Head of Holofernes. c.1530.
http://www.abcgallery.com/C/cranach/cranach13.JPG

Lucas Cranach the Elder. Judith Victorious. c.1530. (This one is a little longer)
http://www.abcgallery.com/C/cranach/cranach67.JPG

Giorgione. Judith. c.1504. (Longer still)
http://join2day.com/abc/G/giorgione/giorgione6.JPG

Andrea Mantegna. Judith and Holofernes. c. 1495.
http://www.join2day.com/abc/M/mantegna/mantegna44.JPG

Edit: If the pics don't show, you can see them here: http://www.abcgallery.com/religion/judith.html .

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2007 8:16 am    Post subject: Judith's Sword         Reply with quote

Thanks for the information, everyone! Cool
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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Kjell Magnusson




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've noticed something similar on some sculptures, this one for example (early 16th century). The sculpture of St George in the Stockholm Cathedral has a similar tip (finished 1489).


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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2007 1:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Kjell,
That is an amazingly detailed sword! Is that a chape at the hilt?
Bill

"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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Bruno Giordan





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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 2:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The sword appears uncommonly short also for a perspective effect: the blade is very inclined, so it appears shorter than it really is.

All the painting shows an impressive mastering of the perspctive art by the painter, out of this mastering comes an impressively realistic idea of vitality of the characters.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Love wrote:
Thanks Kjell,
That is an amazingly detailed sword! Is that a chape at the hilt?
Bill

Are you asking about the black piece over the center of the guard? If so, that looks like a rain guard, to me.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Fri 05 Jan, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Steve. That's what I meant but it didn't come out that way Confused
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
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Andrew J





Joined: 12 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 06 Jan, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I looked at the sword in that painting for a good couple of minutes before I realized it was being used to cut a man's neck.
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Bill Love





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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jan, 2007 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. Artemisia Gentileschi worked a lot in this theme-she was raped by a mentor as a young woman and may have been expressing her feelings through her work
"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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