OIL PAINTING: Judith Beheading Holofernes, c.1598
In the painting by Caravaggio - Judith Beheading Holofernes , Judith comes in with her maid - surprisingly and menacingly - from the right, against the direction of reading the picture. The general is lying naked on a white sheet. Paradoxically, his bed is distinguished by a magnificent red curtain, whose colour crowns the act of murder as well as the heroine's triumph.
The roughness of the details and the realistic precision with which the horrific decapitation is rendered in Judith Beheading Holofernes (correct down to the tiniest details of anatomy and physiology) has led to the hypothesis that the painting was inspired by two highly publicized contemporary Roman executions; that of Giordano Bruno and above all of Beatrice Cenci in 1599.