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The Sword of Judith

 | 
Kevin R. Brine
, 
Elena Ciletti
, 
Henrike Lähnemann

Visual Arts

19. Judith Imagery as Catholic Orthodoxy in Counter-Reformation Italy

Elena Ciletti

Texte intégral

  • 1 An exception to this general rule is Bettina Uppenkamp, Judith und Holofernes in der italienischen (...)

1The Book of Judith and its controversial protagonist were much in evidence in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian culture. For art historians, the foremost examples are the now iconic easel paintings of Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi, images whose implacable vehemence commands attention. But if we look beyond the borders of secular patronage, we find a less familiar yet fully contingent world of contemporary Judithic imagery. It proclaims her rhetorical appropriation by the Catholic or Counter-Reformation Church against the ”heresies” of Protestantism. Judith saved her people by vanquishing an adversary she described as not just one heathen but ”all unbelievers” (Jdt 13:27); she thus stood as an ideal agent of anti-heretical propaganda. Nonetheless, the extent of her role in the Church’s militant discourse has not been fully recognized. In the visual arts her service is most acutely apparent in ecclesiastical commissions, which have been little studied overall.1 Such works present the institutional or ”official” face of Judith and can be shown to converge with polemics on a variety of contested Catholic traditions. This is the subject of this essay. I examine both the terms by which the apocryphal Jewish heroine was deployed as an instrument of Post-Tridentine orthodoxy and the engagement of selected Italian images in that mission.

  • 2 I thank Monsignor Pietro Amato, director of the Museo Storico Vaticano at the Lateran, for generou (...)
  • 3 For these artists, their Lateran workshop and their other Sixtine projects, see Maria Luisa Madonn (...)
  • 4 In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the best known and widest-ranging Judith series are gr (...)
  • 5 Only Corinne Mandel has noted them, briefly, and identified their components in her Sixtus V and t (...)

2The most salient example is an extraordinary fresco cycle painted in 1588–89 for Sixtus V (r. 1585–90), the archetypal pope of the Church Militant. Its locale could not be more prestigious: the Palazzo Lateranense in Rome – the rebuilt patriarchum of Constantine and the historical seat of papal rule.2 The frescoes occupy the vault of the south loggia on the piano nobile; as in all Sixtine enterprises, they were designed by Giovanni Guerra and Cesare Nebbia and executed by their workshop (Figs. 19.1–19.3).3 Consisting of twenty-eight scenes that illustrate much of the Vulgate narrative, the cycle is unequalled in scale and ambition among representations of Judith.4 Yet despite their scope, the importance of the site, and the lavish recent attention paid to Sixtus V’s patronage and taste, these Lateran frescoes have been given very little attention, none of it within the scholarship on Judith.5

  • 6 At the Vatican palace, earlier evidence of papal interest in Judith was not lacking. In addition t (...)

3As with the better known work for this pope, the Judith vaults manifest the triumphalist rhetoric of the resurgent Church. Throughout the Lateran, the dense iconographic program proclaims the lineage of pontifical rule and the achievements of the Sixtine golden age; among its targets are Protestant denials of papal authority. This Judith participates in a vast typology of the pope’s predecessors and prefigurations: a multitude of biblical, historical, and classical personages of unimpeachable authority. No other female or Old Testament figure is given as much attention at this site. Guerra and Nebbia’s cycle thus speaks volumes about the magnitude of Judith’s worth to Sixtus V and the Church he ruled.6 This essay will situate some aspects of these frescoes, together with other relevant works, within the framework of contemporary religious concerns.

19.1. Giovanni Guerra and Cesare Nebbia, Judith Cycle, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.

19.2. Guerra and Nebbia, 5th bay, Judith Cycle, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.

19.3. Guerra and Nebbia, 6th bay, Judith Cycle, detail, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.

Judith in the Anti-Heretical Discourse: Lineage

  • 7 See Steven Ostrow, Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome: The Sistine and Pauline Chape (...)
  • 8 Bellarmine, Disputationes … De Controversiis christianae fidei adversus huius temporis haereticos, (...)

4It must be noted that Judith’s timeliness was enhanced by the Assyrian nationality of Holofernes. This assured his conflation with Islam (in the form of the encroaching Ottoman Turks), an updating of his traditional satanic characterization. In this idea, as in so many others, the Church reanimated patristic and medieval concepts, examined elsewhere in this volume, which allegorized Judith’s beheading of Holofernes as Ecclesia Triumphant over its enemies, and as Chastity and Humility victorious over Lust and Pride. There was an anti-heretical intent to this revival, as Calvin had dismissed allegorical readings of Scripture in favor of literal ones.7 By the mid-sixteenth century, Roman Catholic fidelity to its own age-old customs was energetically promoted, in response to accusations by the Reformers that the Church had squandered its authority by diverging from its original doctrines and practices. It was during the papacy of Sixtus V, and with his sponsorship, that the most authoritative arguments for the legitimacy of the unbroken Catholic tradition were launched, most notably by Robert Bellarmine and Cesare Baronio. Of paramount importance are the former’s doctrinal Disputationes … De Controversiis Christianae fidei and the latter’s historical survey of the early Church, the Annales Ecclesiastici; the first volumes of each were dedicated to Sixtus V.8 As we shall see, Judith provided supporting evidence for both authors. The privileging of the lineage that Bellarmine and Baronio charted was intrinsic to every aspect of Counter-Reform culture; it is an essential component of the Church’s approach to the subject of Judith.

  • 9 See the decrees in J. Pelikan and V. Hotchkiss (eds.), Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Chri (...)
  • 10 He was a despised Inquisitor in Venice, 1557–60. See Paul Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the (...)

5At the most fundamental level there was the vexed matter of the canonicity of the Book of Judith itself. When the entire Old Testament apocrypha was rejected by most Protestant confessions, the Vulgate canon became a battleground. The Council of Trent confirmed the official status of the full Vulgate in 1546 and declared an anathema on transgressors of its canon, thus defining any challenge to Judith’s legitimacy as heresy.9 No one was better prepared to exploit the contested nature of the heroine and her text than Sixtus V, the former inquisitor who famously identified with St. Jerome, the original ”hammer of heretics.” It was in honor of his patristic alter ego that Sixtus undertook his own notorious edition of the Vulgate.10

  • 11 Disputationes, Book I, De libris sacris et apocryphis: chapters 4, 10 and especially 12 (De libro (...)
  • 12 The Holie Bible Faithfully Translated into English out of the Avthentical Latin (Douai: Laurence K (...)

6Elite Catholic patrons who commissioned representations of Judith would have been well aware that the defense of her authenticity was basic to the project of Catholic renewal, as Bellarmine’s De Controversiis demonstrated. Its first volume, published in 1586, opens with a detailed confirmation of the inclusive Vulgate canon and a refutation of Protestant objections to the apocrypha.11 Addressing Luther’s arguments against the Book of Judith’s veracity, Bellarmine maps out the counter-brief for its historicity and its traditional acceptance by the Church as ”infallibilis veritas.” He verifies its nomenclature and chronology, for instance, even weighing what can be deduced about the latter from Judith’s genealogy, beauty, and long life span (43–47). Bellarmine’s definitive formulations provided the foundation for subsequent apologists. We find his reasoning, for instance, in the explicative apparatus in the English Douay Vulgate Old Testament of 1609, with its overt rejection of Luther: Judith’s saga is defined as ”a Sacred Historie … of a most Valiant Matrons fact.”12

  • 13 Without analyzing the frescoes, Mandel does observe that victorious Judith, typus Ecclesiae, is al (...)

7Guerra and Nebbia’s Lateran frescoes of 1588–89 can be seen as contributing to this program. The twenty-eight narrative scenes, four per vault, are replete with descriptive detail, providing contextual specificity that reifies Bellarmine’s contemporary claims for the Book of Judith’s historical truth. Bethulia, for instance, which is not described in the Vulgate, is envisioned by Sixtus V’s artists as an impressive city of temples, towers, aqueducts, and obelisks. These particulars not only ground the story but also make reference to the patron’s own well-known contributions to the urban fabric of Rome, thereby underscoring Sixtus’s identification with Judith and her magnanimity toward her people.13 The palatial scale of her dwelling affirms her status, which is grand from the start: in her first entrance, she addresses the awed elders with regal bearing fully in keeping with her setting. Every visual effort is made to show Judith’s situation as congruent with the imperial tone of the papacy as manifest in Sixtus V. Moreover, as is the norm in Sixtine works, the pope is ubiquitous in the ornamentation that frames the narratives and fills the vaults; its visual vocabulary is drawn from his heraldic devices – triple mountains, pears, lions, and stars.

  • 14 Annales Ecclesiastici, v. 1, col. 369–71; cf. col. 248–49, where the context is observation of Jew (...)

8A key rationale for Judith’s inclusion in the Sixtine pontifical genealogy, whose promulgation is the chief point of the entire Lateran program, can be located in the first volume of Baronio’s Annales Ecclesiastici, which was issued by Sixtus V’s new Vatican press in 1588, the year the frescoes were under way.14 In book one, Baronio provides a link between Judith and the concept of papal authority by invoking her in the discussion of a passage in Acts 10 that illustrates the early deference paid to Peter. This implication of her typological relationship to the first pope must have been welcomed by Sixtus, to whom the volume was dedicated and which he enthusiastically received. Baronio’s reference reveals that Judith was more than a generic personification of the triumphant Church: she was fashioned as a pillar of the contentious doctrine of papal sovereignty itself. We find here yet another reason for the Catholic insistence on her canonicity.

9A purposeful Counter-Reform agenda can also be seen in the very shaping of the Lateran’s Judith cycle, which reveals a militant intent. The rarely represented early episodes of the Assyrian military campaign dominate the first two vaults, and the painted narrative not only begins but ends on a martial note. In a marked deviation from the biblical source, the concluding victory celebrations and the heroine’s last years are omitted from the frescoes. As a result, one enters and leaves the loggia beneath episodes of warfare: the Assyrians’ preparations for the invasion in the first bay and their rout by the Bethulians in the seventh. The narrative symmetry is underscored visually by the identical design scheme in both bays. Even in vaults whose narratives do not involve combat – the fifth, for instance, wherein Judith prays at the spring and dines with Holofernes – the scenes are flanked by framed battle scenes in grisaille (Fig. 19.2). These are supported by allegorical figures holding the coat-of-arms of Sixtus V. The point is clear: Judith is a historical personage and a prototype of both Ecclesia Militans and its pope, who will ensure the defeat of their heretical enemies.

  • 15 See the useful but incomplete list of exegeses in D. Giuseppe Priero, Giuditta. La Sacra Bibbia: V (...)
  • 16 It is part of his In Sacros Divinorum Bibliorum Libros, Tobiam, Ivdith, Esther, Machabaeos, Commen (...)
  • 17 Over 700 pages long, published by Prost in Lyon and subsequently reissued there, Madrid, and Venic (...)
  • 18 Serarius’s Prolegomenon IV refutes Protestant objections to her canonicity. PL, Scripturae Sacrae, (...)
  • 19 It was reissued with annotations in 1566 by Pamelius (Joigny de Pamele) in Antwerp; I consulted hi (...)

10Within a decade of the Lateran commission, Catholic scholars enlarged the vindication of Judith’s saga into full-blown exegetical exercises, initiating what I take to be an important new stage of its reception in the early modern period.15 The first large-scale commentary of the Book of Judith since the Middle Ages was printed in Germany in 1599: In Libros Ivdith by Nicholas Serarius.16 His arguments were developed throughout the next century, as for instance in the monumental volume by his fellow Jesuit, Diego de Celada, in Spain, Ivdith illustris perpetuo commentario, first published in 163717 (Fig. 19.5). The purpose of such works is to define and substantiate Judith for, as Serarius says in his introduction, ”our age of heretics”; the first task is the defense of her canonicity.18 These scholars thus rejuvenated the partisan advocacy of the first Judith exegete, Rhabanus Maurus, whose famous commentary addressed political struggles of the ninth century.19 Their hortatory message was heard beyond their own now obscure biblical scholarship.

19.4. Bartolomeo Tortoletti, Ivditha Vindex et Vindicata, 1628. Title page. London, British Library, 11409.gg.17. Photo credit: © British Library Board.

  • 20 Bartolomeo Tortoletti, Ivditha Vindex et Vindicata (Rome: Stamperia Vaticana, 1628), was actually (...)

11We see this, for instance, in the circle of another major Counter-Reform pope, Urban VIII Barberini, in a literary work dedicated to him by the poet Bartolommeo Tortoletti: Ivditha Vindex et Vindicata (Fig. 19.6). An epic poem with commentary, it was first issued in Latin in 1628 by the Vatican press and again in 1648 in an expanded Italian edition, Giuditta Vittoriosa; both were illustrated.20 The titles and the enframing armor on the frontispiece make the same martial point, while the Barberini stemma bespeaks Judith’s official ratification by the Vatican.

19.5. Diego de Celada, Ivdith Illustris perpetuo commentario, 1635. Title page. London, British Library, L.17.e.8.(2.). © British Library Board.

  • 21 In Canto X, 323. At the opening and the close: ”Così volesse il Ciel, che da gli artigli / Barbari (...)

12Tortoletti’s orientation is that of the Church Triumphant under Urban VIII, supported by impeccable theological sources who include Bellarmine and the exegetes Serarius and Celada. In the final stanza of Giuditta Vittoriosa, for instance, the divinely ordained victory of the Bethulians over the Assyrians is characterized as the salvation of the Church from the ”talons” of the ”barbarians” from the east and the north, the latter subsumed under the name of Luther. Judith is thus made an agent of mercy in ”the calamities of our time,” which is to say the Thirty Years’ War, as the dates of the two editions reveal.21 Tortoletti’s texts, like those of the authors he invokes, are later literary corollaries of the Lateran frescoes.

Judith in the Anti-Heretical Discourse: The Marian Typology

  • 22 See Beth Kreitzer, Reforming Mary: Changing Images of the Virgin Mary in LutheranSermons of the Si (...)
  • 23 Tortoletti, Giuditta Vittoriosa, Apparato, c. 5. For the full statement, see Carpanè, p. 47. It’s (...)

13The evidence indicates that the Judithic arena in which the Catholic battle against heresy was most fiercely waged was Marian theology. Here too the familiar patristic tradition, which had made Judith a mulier sancta and a prefiguration of Mary, was not only continued but intensified. The reason is clear: the Reformation critique of the Church’s investing of Mary with supernatural authority that had no direct scriptural foundation. One relevant example is the doctrine of the Assumption, every aspect of which was disputed and whose feast was excised from Lutheran constitutions.22 As the Assunta, the humble carpenter’s wife of the gospels is metamorphosed into the Queen of Heaven, bodily carried there by angels to intercede for all of humankind. What was needed for its Catholic defense was an Old Testament genealogy for Mary. Hence the strategic importance of the canonicity of the apocryphal Book of Judith: it demonstrated the Virgin’s scriptural ancestry. Judith’s own lineage, the longest of any woman in the Old Testament, reinforced Mary’s descent from the royal house of David, thereby confirming her celestial rank. Thus does Tortoletti announce at the start of the Italian translation of his poem that Judith is a prefiguration of Mary as the ”Regina degli Angeli.”23

  • 24 The pioneering treatise is by Canisio, Petro (St. Peter Canisius), De Maria Virgine incomparabili (...)

14This predilection appears already on his title page, where it is Mary who appears in the clouds at the apex of the composition, cradling the Christ Child in her lap (Fig. 19.4). It is noteworthy indeed that Judith herself is not represented visually; rather, she is subsumed into the figure of her Christian ”rationale.” Tortoletti was well versed on this point, as his citations of the Marian exegeses of Serarius and Celada indicate. It is the latter who expanded the typology to the greatest extent. What had been an integrated leitmotiv for Serarius in 1599 became for Celada in 1637 a lengthy independent appendix that rings every possible change on the Judith-as-Mary premise: ”de Ivdith figvrata; id est de Virginis Deiparae laudibus.” It is announced on the frontispiece and visually confirmed by the twinned illustrations of the two heroines at the top and bottom (Fig. 19.5). Such authors remind us that Judith was a ”regular” in the emergent Mariological theology of Canisius, Suarez, Del Rio, and many others in their wake.24

  • 25 Tortoletti, Giuditta Vittoriosa, Apparato, c. 3.

15This typology depends fundamentally on the Vulgate Book of Judith’s emphasis on the protagonist’s chastity and humility, discussed by others in this volume. Despite the text’s abundant erotic energy, Judith saves her people by thwarting the lust of the proud Holofernes. It cannot be over-stressed that although she dissembles and allows him to believe that she will accede to his carnal desires, she does not seduce him before beheading him. All Counter-Reform defenses of the heroism of Judith are founded on this point. Tortoletti, for instance, refutes charges that her deed was scandalous because ”full of deception and the allurement to sin” (pieno d’inganno, e d’allettamenti a peccare).25 His is the Church’s standard defense: her appearance may be decorative and compliant, but in her actions she is the chaste ”warrior of God” (Guerriera di Dio) and warfare justifies her strategies.

  • 26 See PL, Scripturae Sacrae, 14, pp. 1047–1054, with quotation on p. 1052.

16As important to Judith’s Marian identity as chastity is her piety, a key indication of which is her propensity to prayer. Moreover, since it is through prayer that Judith enlists God’s aid for her people, she was long seen by the Church as an antetype of Mary’s role as intercessor in heaven for human-kind, and thus of the Assumption. Serarius makes just this point, at length, and concludes with a taunt to his Protestant adversaries: ”Are you gnashing your teeth, heretics?” (Quod frendes, haeretice?)26

17The Lateran Judith cycle is permeated with this very Marian purpose. This is typical of Sixtus V’s artistic patronage and indeed his papacy overall, one of whose signal aspects was his devotion to Mary. We have already noted that at the Lateran, Judith and her dwelling are portrayed by Guerra and Nebbia as regal; as for her piety and intercessional efficacy, they assign three scenes to her prayers. This is most striking in the sixth vault, where she kneels in supplication to God before the bed on which the naked Holofernes is splayed in unconscious inebriation (Fig. 19.3). Her chastity is signaled here also: nothing so well denotes the absence of seductive intent (or action). The sixteenth-century transformation of the figure of Judith, especially in northern Europe, from paragon of modesty to icon of craftiness and dangerous erotic allure, is well known. No grist for this mill is provided by Nebbia and Guerra.

  • 27 See, e.g., Canto VIII of Giuditta Vittoriosa.
  • 28 Quoted in John Marshall, John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture (Cambridge: Cambri (...)

18Moreover, their insistence on the carnal physicality of the drunken Assyrian general is unusual in ecclesiastical art of this period and has specific resonance in anti-heretical discourse. It is inseparable from his identity as an infidel. In Tortoletti’s poem, for instance, the ”Tartar” Holofernes is undone by his own heathen libido.27 This commonplace of sectarian rhetoric was much aired in this period; as the ultra-Catholic Jean Boucher put it in 1614, heresy is ”born in lust.”28 There is additional congruence here with the ancient associations between blood and lust, so central to the Psychomachia of Prudentius. Thus the usual patristic interpretation of Judith as Chastity, Piety, and Humility, vanquisher of Holofernes as Lust, Blasphemy, and Pride, had contemporary cogency in the Counter-Reformation, where the Marian typology had the most militant of applications.

  • 29 Gloriose Memorie della B.ma Vergine Madre di Dio (Rome: Facciotto, 1616), p. 128. See Ostrow, Art (...)
  • 30 Martin del Rio used the honorific ”Haeresum Expugnatrici” in his Opus Marianum (Lyon: Horatium Car (...)
  • 31 Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, pp. 128, 245.
  • 32 In his letter (79) to Salvina and his Vulgate commentary on the prophetical Book of Sophoniam. For (...)

19This can be seen in the insistence on Mary’s identity as a warrior. Her image was carried by Catholic soldiers into battle because, as was noted in 1616 by Andrea Vittorelli, she was the ”glorious fighter … the invincible warrior … the queen and captain of the soldiers of Heaven” (gloriosa combattrice … Guerriera invincibile … Capitana della soldatesca del Cielo).29 It’s clear that such bellicosity was a revival of her ancient identification as the Church itself and thus as the ”Exterminator of Heretics.”30 The convergence with Judith was irresistible. As Vittorelli put it, she and the Virgin ”cut off the heads of the hydra of heresy” (tagliate le teste all’hidra dell’heresie) in what he subsequently described as the ”perpetual war with the Devil and his spawn, the heretics” (perpetua guerra con il Diavolo, e con gli Heretici, seme di lui).31 We see here an updating of the definitive patristic claim by Sixtus V’s alter ego, St. Jerome himself: Judith was a type both of Mary and ”of the Church which cuts off the head of the devil.”32 The Lateran frescoes belong within this discursive tradition.

The Marian Judith: Typological Theology and Its Figurations

  • 33 See Priero, Giuditta, pp. 28–29.

20For Catholics, the Marian Judith was and remains official dogma, with verses from her text recited in the liturgies of Mary’s feasts.33 We will now consider some of the theological underpinnings of the Mary/Judith typology and their visual ramifications in fresco and ink, along with the Lateran cycle. The core authority for the paradigm was Jerome’s Book of Judith itself, which, I would argue, may be seen as a Marian text, shaped by him with the typological imperative in mind. Such an argument would revolve around his well-known molding of the protagonist to raise the profile of her chaste and humble widowhood, compared to the treatment of the Greek Septuagint. Such idiosyncrasies of Jerome’s scripture, plus his other utterances on Judith, were assiduously mined by patrons and artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

  • 34 A bound collection of 134 drawings illustrating the entire Book of Judith, with the date and Guerr (...)

21The greatest concentration of Marian tropes is found in the episodes of Judith’s exultant homecoming and the subsequent celebrations. Indeed, the quotations from the Book of Judith most frequently put to liturgical use as descriptions for Mary are drawn from the encomia of the high priests at the victory festivities in Jdt 15:10–11: ”tu gloria Hierusalem, tu letitia Israel, tu honorificentia populi … eo quod castitatem amaveris” (Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people … because thou hast loved chastity). An interesting representation of this very scene is provided by Guerra, not in the Lateran frescoes but in a rather obscure series of ink drawings, made perhaps around 160634 (Fig. 19.6). In this modest image, the patristic purpose is realized: the veiled heroine kneels in humility at the feet of High Priest Joachim, even as she is proclaimed the ”Glory of Jerusalem.”

19.6. Giovanni Guerra, Judith Praised by the High Priest, ca. 1606. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York. Photo credit: Avery Library, Drawings and Archives Department.

22With this in mind, it should not be surprising that representations of Judith’s reception in Bethulia (Jdt 13:19–26) would be much disseminated in the period under consideration. There is additional conformity to Jerome here, namely to the directive in his preface to the Book of Judith to not only imitate her chastity but to also ”with triumphant laud make her known in perpetual praises.” Unveiling the trophy head to the joyous Bethulians, the heroine proclaims her chastity to have been undefiled by the lust of Holofernes, as she was protected by God from the ”pollution of sin” (Jdt 13:20; sine pollutione peccati). To that end, Jerome goes so far as to provide her with a guardian angel. It is the only supernatural touch in the story, and it is unique to the Vulgate.

Jerome’s Angel

  • 35 See Fiorenzo Gobbo in Vincenzo Benassi et al. (eds.), La Madonna della Ghiara in Reggio Emilia: Gu (...)

23The angelic motif is highlighted in one of the most unusual of Catholic Reformation representations of Judith, the little-studied fresco by Leonello Spada of ca. 1615, in the Servite basilica of the Madonna della Ghiara in Reggio Emilia (Fig. 19.7).35 The decorative program of this shrine is an enciclopedia mariana, its purpose the exaltation of the Virgin as the Queen of Heaven and as Ecclesia. Judith is one of the twelve Old Testament prefigurations of Mary; she is prominently placed adjacent to the central cupola, also by Spada, which depicts the Assumption. The inscriptions above and below his Judith fresco are the ”tu gloria Hierusalem” and ”tu honorificentia populi” of Jdt 15:10–11, intoned in the liturgy of this very feast.

24Spada dramatizes his Judith Beheading Holofernes to maximum effect, by the nocturnal lighting, the commanding figure of the heroine holding the head of Holofernes aloft in one hand and a blood-streaked sword in the other, and the steep worm’s-eye perspective. The whole is enhanced by the vivid presence of Jerome’s guardian angel, performing dazzling acrobatics in the dark sky. The angel is essential to the composition: its pose completes the gruesome central diagonal formed by the sword and the gesticulating upper arm of the headless trunk which spurts blood out into space, itself a rare element in Judith imagery in churches. Given its scale, lighting, and hyperbolic contortions, Spada’s angel declares its Vulgate purpose as defender of Judith’s chastity in the tent.

19.7. Lionello Spada, Judith Beheading Holofernes, ca. 1615. Basilica della Madonna della Ghiara, Reggio Emilia. Photo credit: G.E.M.A. (Grande Enciclopedia Multimediale dell’Arte).

25But the angel is not mentioned at this point in the scriptural narrative. It enters the story only subsequently, in Judith’s assertion back in Bethulia of its protective presence throughout her journey. Spada’s composition therefore depicts the letter not of the scene it illustrates but of Judith’s recollection of it, the point of which is the triumph of Chastity over Lust. In the double context – the Marian basilica site and the contemporary discourse of Protestant heresy-as-lust – the angel is a purposeful and multi-faceted polemical invention.

  • 36 De Angelorum Custodia (Padua: Petri Pauli Tozzi, 1605), p. 98; Judith is discussed on pp. 44–45. T (...)

26This is further seen in another, less-expected dimension of Catholic apologists’ appropriations of Judith: her role in the cause of the newly popular and controversial veneration of guardian angels. It can be documented that she was invoked as proof of their existence, against Luther, Calvin, and other ”impii & imperti haeretici.” This language comes from a prominent work on this theme, another treatise by Vittorelli, De Angelorum Custodia, dedicated in 1605 to the new Pope Paul V, who would soon approve the Officium Angeli Custodis.36 There were Marian dimensions to this cult, via Gabriel, which brings us to the Annunciation.

”Blessed Art Thou”

27No aspect of Judith’s triumphant return from the Assyrian camp is more relevant to the Marian typology than the praise bestowed upon her by the Bethulian elder Ozias (Jdt 13:23). His words were read by Catholics as explicitly pointing to Mary: ”Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women on earth” (Benedicta et tu filia a Domino Deo excelso prae omnibus mulieribus super terram). We recognize here the adumbration of Gabriel’s salutations to Mary at the Annunciation and the Visitation, respectively: ”blessed art thou among women” (Lk 1:28: benedicta tu in mulieribus). This is of course the language enshrined in the Ave Maria. The most fundamental of Marian doctrines and prayers were thus construed as Judithic in their essence, affirmed by the Church as scriptural confirmation of Mary’s unique supernatural destiny.

  • 37 Forged in second-century polemics against ”calumnious insinuations of pagans and Jews” (Justin Mar (...)
  • 38 From the ”Catecheses” traditionally attributed to St. Cyril of Jerusalem; see Gambero, ibid., pp. (...)

28The verbal similarity between Ozias’s address to Judith and Luke’s for the Annunciation illuminates the keystone of the typology: the parallel between the beheading of Holofernes and the conception of Christ. Central to the idea is the symbolic association of Holofernes with Satan and thus with the serpent in Eden who tempted Eve, precipitating the Fall and the redemptive mission of Christ. The ultimate crushing by an unnamed woman of the head of the serpent was prophesied in the ”ipsa conteret caput tuum” of Genesis 3:15. That controversial feminine pronoun, ”ipsa,” a grammatical error in the Vulgate text and much derided by reformers, was maintained by the Church as a reference to Mary, who crushes Satan’s head by humbly accepting the incarnation of Christ in her virgin womb. The step to Judith’s dispatching of the head of Holofernes was inevitable. She thus enters into the symmetrical theology of Eva/Ave, Mary as the Second Eve: the original sin is caused by a woman, the concupiscent mother of us all, and redeemed by a woman, the virgin who conceives the Messiah at the Annunciation.37 As a patristic source put it, ”the serpent deceived the former [Eva], so Gabriel might bring glad tidings to the latter [Mary].”38

  • 39 Letter 22. See http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001022.htm. The quotation is in paragraph 21. Lik (...)
  • 40 See Ann van Dijk, ”Type and Antetype in Santa Maria Antiqua: The Old Testament Scenes on the Trans (...)
  • 41 Dürer’s print is from the well-known Life of the Virgin series. Caroto’s Annunciation is a diptych (...)
  • 42 See the discussion in this volume by Sarah Blake McHam (Chap. 17); also Frank Capozzi, ”The Evolut (...)

29The foreshadowing of Gabriel’s ”glad tidings” for Mary by Ozias’s ”Blessed art thou” for Judith was grafted onto this dynamic. It was Jerome himself who gave the most vivid expression of the application to Judith in his best-known letter, written to (Saint) Eustochium: ”the chain of the curse is broken. Death came through Eve, but life came through Mary. … Then chaste Judith once more cut off the head of Holofernes. …”39 It would be hard to overstate the influence of this formulation on Marian theology and its visual expression across the centuries. In Rome, it is found by at least the early eighth century, in the church of Santa Maria Antiqua in the Forum, where frescoes of Judith Returning to Bethulia and the Annunciation are in close proximity.40 By the early sixteenth century, it was widely diffused. Dürer, for instance, incorporated a simulated relief of Judith with the head of Holofernes in his woodcut Annunciation of 1503, as did Giovanni Battista Caroto in a painting soon thereafter for San Giorgio in Braida, Verona41 (Fig. 19.8). Conversely, Gabriel opens the popular Florentine drama, La rappresentatione di Iudith Hebrea, and appears as the illustration of the title page by the late sixteenth century42 (Fig. 17.7, in McHam, Chap. 17).

19.8. Giovanni Caroto, Virgin Annunciate, ca. 1508. Museo del Castelvecchio, Verona. Photo credit: ARTstor, 103-41822000556140.

19.9. Domenichino, Judith Triumphant, ca. 1628. Bandini Chapel, San Silvestro al Quirinale, Rome. Photo credit: G.E.M.A. (Grande Enciclopedia Multimediale dell’Arte).

30The most expansive visual analogue of Judith’s link to the Virgin Annunciate is the fresco cycle at the Lateran. The encyclopedic gamut of subjects painted at this site plots an immense panorama of time from the beginning of Creation to the era of Sixtus V. In the loggias of the piano nobile, biblical themes prevail: the Genesis sequence to the west begins with the creation of Adam and Eve, while the Christological wing to the east opens with the prelude to the birth of Jesus. In a stunning piece of plotting, the loggia of Judith to the south is the bridge between the two. The entrance into her narrative – into the commencement of the Assyrian invasion of Judea – is through the first bay of the Genesis loggia, whose climactic scene depicts the Fall. The exit from the Judith loggia – from under the scene of the defeat of the Assyrians – is into the first bay of the adjoining wing, whose climax is the Annunciation and Visitation. Jerome’s view of Judith’s place in the cycle of humanity’s fall and redemption is thus succinctly summarized. Her saga begins with Eva and ends with Ave, the vault of her victory leads to the realm of ”Blessed art thou among women.” Sixtus’s artists are here illustrating his hero Jerome’s explanation to Eustochium: Eve made Mary necessary, and one route between the two is through the tent of Holofernes.

  • 43 Sixtus V was an ardent Immaculist. His famous sermon on the subject invoked Judith: Predica della (...)
  • 44 See Roberto Bellarmino, Ave, Maria (Siena: Cantagalli, 1950), pp. 29–51; the quote is on p. 42.
  • 45 It seems to me that the source of the Judith illustration is a print by Claude Mellan after a pain (...)

31The logic of Judith as a bridge between the ”ipsa conteret” of Genesis 3:15 and Gabriel’s honorific greeting at the Annunciation was part of the Church’s defense of the most inflammatory of all Marian doctrines, the Immaculate Conception.43 These phrases, with their Judithic resonance, were said to provide scriptural confirmation for that doctrine. In a sermon by Bellarmine of ca. 1570, for the vigil of the Immaculate Conception, the discussion of Gabriel’s salutation to Mary leads to Ozias’s greeting of ”that most strong and most chaste Judith, who did not cut off the head of Holofernes, rather she crushed and smashed the head of the infernal serpent” (quella fortissima e castissima Giuditta, che non troncò il capo di Oloferne, ma schiacciò e stritolò il capo del dragone infernale).44 Another locus is the Marian appendix and the title page illustration of the exegesis by Celada (Fig. 19.5). There, Judith is paired with Mary as the Immacolata, standing on the serpent and inscribed ”ipsa conteret caput tuum.”45 It is as a type of the Immacolata that Holofernes’s beheader enters this Mariological battlefield, as seen in the ”cut(ting) off the heads of the hydra of heresy” rhetoric of Vittorelli. The full Judithic extension of the Immaculate Conception, which also involves the Turks, is beyond the scope of this essay. To conclude this one, we’ll connect the foregoing Annunciation material to the related but more contained case of the Assumption.

Judith Triumphant

  • 46 In Prologue IV: PL, Scripturae Sacrae, 14, p. 800.

32The immediate next step from the Annunciation is the Visitation, where Mary’s cousin Elizabeth instantly recognizes the Incarnation of the savior within Mary’s womb. Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary, ”blessed art thou among women,” repeats that of Gabriel, and therefore provides another echo of Ozias’s praise of Judith. The Visitation had thus become a commonplace in the Judith/Mary typology of the Middle Ages. It was reanimated in the Post-Tridentine era, where we find it, for instance, in the exegesis of Serarius.46 The most energetic of its applications was as a scriptural vindication of the doctrine of the Assumption. Elizabeth’s and Gabriel’s rhetoric was held to announce the future spiritual triumph of Mary over death in her bodily assumption into heaven, because it establishes her physically unique role in Christ’s ultimate spiritual victory over Satan/Sin.

  • 47 Vincenzo Bruno, Delle Meditationi sopra le sette Festivita principali della B. Vergine le quale ce (...)
  • 48 See Maria Grazia Bernardini, ”La Cappella Bandini,” in Richard Spear et al. (eds.), Domenichino 15 (...)

33A timely example of the intersection of Judith, the Visitation, and the Assumption is the discussion by the Jesuit Vincenzo Bruno in his meditations on Mary’s feasts, first published in 1585 and reissued many times thereafter.47 Judith appears as the first of the Old Testament ”figures” of the Visitation, immediately after the Gospel of Luke. Bruno’s book was the source of the iconography of an important pictorial site dedicated to the Assumption in Rome, the Bandini chapel in the Theatine church of San Silvestro al Quirinale, frescoed by Domenichino in ca. 1628.48 In the pendentives there, Judith joins David, Esther, and Solomon in the foreshadowing of Mary’s ascent to heaven (Fig. 19.9).

  • 49 See also Uppenkamp, Judith und Holofernes in der italienischen Malerei des Barock, pp. 111–17.

34In this setting, the rationale for Domenichino’s theme, The Triumphant Return of Judith to Bethulia, is Bruno’s correlation of the joyful reception of the victorious Judith back in Bethulia with that of Mary by Elizabeth: in both cases, the vanquished enemy is Satan.49 The celebratory tone is essential to the typological parallel, and so the painter is careful to register the awe and applause of the crowd. His characterization of Judith – restrained, modestly garbed and posed, morally worthy of the cynosure she inspires – fits the Marian program perfectly.

  • 50 David Ekserdjian, Correggio (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 253; the only other r (...)
  • 51 Canto XXXII, 10.

35Domenichino’s adoption of the link between the rapturous welcome of the Bethulians and that of the heavenly hosts at the Assumption is a useful reminder that Judith was in fact a familiar figure in representations of this theme. As in Correggio’s celebrated cupola in the cathedral at Parma in the 1520s, she appears in such important later depictions of the Assumption as the dome fresco by Volterrano, done 1680–83, at Santissima Annunziatain Florence.50 There she stands out in a group of Hebrew heroines that includes Jael and Esther. It is at the Assumption that Judith most overtly belongs to the court of, to repeat Tortoletti, the ”Regina degli Angeli.” The point would have registered with particular satisfaction in Florence, as Judith’s place among Mary’s celestial courtiers had the imprimatur of Dante, in the Paradiso.51

Conclusion

36In the Catholic Reformation, the ”official” Judith was the Marian Judith. She was preached from pulpits, theorized in treatises and poetry, and painted on church walls and papal palaces. In Rome alone, the sites with her depictions from this period include those of the highest significance, among them the churches of the Gesù, Santa Maria in Vallicella, Santa Mariadel Popolo, and St. Peter’s itself. The paintings discussed in this essay are therefore not exceptions to the rule: they belong to the most authoritative discourse of their time, one that is rooted in popular belief as well. They show us how the apocryphal Book of Judith, whose scriptural authority was contested by most Protestants, was visualized to reinforce dogmas of even greater controversy. In this doubling of the polemical stakes, the rhetorical potency of Judith was assured.

Music and Drama

Music and Drama

Thomas Theodor Heine, comic drawings for Johann Nestroy’s Judith, 1908.

Notes

1 An exception to this general rule is Bettina Uppenkamp, Judith und Holofernes in der italienischen Malerei des Barock (Berlin: Reimer, 2004), especially chapter 9; although the number of ecclesiastical images discussed is not large, hers is the most sustained treatment of Italian iconography in its Counter-Reform context.

2 I thank Monsignor Pietro Amato, director of the Museo Storico Vaticano at the Lateran, for generous facilitation of my examinations of the frescoes. My brief treatment of them here derives from a monographic study in progress.

3 For these artists, their Lateran workshop and their other Sixtine projects, see Maria Luisa Madonna (ed.), Roma di Sisto V. Le arti e la cultura (Rome: DeLuca, 1993). The team included Paul Bril, Andrea Lilio, Paris Nogari, and Antonio Viviani. This volume is an indispensable compendium and guide to Sixtus and the scholarship devoted to his patronage.

4 In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the best known and widest-ranging Judith series are graphic, inevitably smaller in size than the frescoes, such as the engravings and etchings after Maerten van Heemskerck. There are also more episodically limited tapestry sets from Flanders, and paintings on canvas made in Italy (Veronese) and France (School of Fontainebleau). On a more monumental scale, I am aware only of stained glass, for Catholic churches, the grandest of which is the window designed by Dirck Pietersz Crabeth in 1571 for Sint Janskerk, Gouda.

5 Only Corinne Mandel has noted them, briefly, and identified their components in her Sixtus V and the Lateran Palace (Rome: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1994), pp. 52, 206–8, fig. 6a. See also her ”Il Palazzo Lateranense,” in Roma di Sisto V, pp. 94–103, fig. 31, 108–11, 117–18. My generalizations about Sixtus’s program are owed primarily to Mandel’s essential work and to Jack Freiberg, The Lateran in 1600: Christian Concord in Counter-Reformation Rome (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

6 At the Vatican palace, earlier evidence of papal interest in Judith was not lacking. In addition to Michelangelo’s famous pendentive on the Sistine ceiling for Julius II, a more recent and explicitly Counter-Reform precedent for Sixtus V was the Judith fresco by Matthijs Bril, for his predecessor. See Nicola Courtright, The Papacy and the Art of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Rome: Gregory XIII’s Tower of the Winds in the Vatican (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

7 See Steven Ostrow, Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome: The Sistine and Pauline Chapels in S. Maria Maggiore (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), pp. 97, 102. Ostrow provides an excellent case study of Sixtus V’s patronage and his culture; my essay is indebted to it throughout.

8 Bellarmine, Disputationes … De Controversiis christianae fidei adversus huius temporis haereticos, 3 vols. (Ingolstadt: Sartori, 1586–93). Cesare Baronio, Annales Ecclesiastici, 10 vols. (Rome: Vatican, 1588–1602; Antwerp: Plantinus, 1602–1658). Bellarmine’s first volume and Baronio’s first two were dedicated to Sixtus V. Both authors’ purpose was to dispute the arguments of the Reformers, as compiled in the so-called Magdeburg Centuries, published in Basel from 1559 to 1574. The bibliography on both works is immense. For an integrated approach, see Stefano Zen, ”Bellarmino e Baronio,” in Romeo de Maio et al. (eds.), Bellarmino e la Contrariforma (Sora: Centro di Studi Sorani ”Vincenzo Patriarca,” 1990), pp. 277–322.

9 See the decrees in J. Pelikan and V. Hotchkiss (eds.), Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, vol. 2: Creeds and Confessions of the Reformation Era (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), pp. 822–24.

10 He was a despised Inquisitor in Venice, 1557–60. See Paul Grendler, The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian Press, 1540–1605 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977), pp. 115–26. His self-identification as Hieronymus redivivus is a leitmotiv in Sixtine studies. For the Vulgate debacle, see, e.g., Henri de Sainte-Marie, ”Sisto V e la Volgata,” in Tarcisio Stamare (ed.), La Bibbia ”Vulgata” dalle origini ai nostri giorni (Rome: Libreria Vaticana, 1987), pp. 61–67.

11 Disputationes, Book I, De libris sacris et apocryphis: chapters 4, 10 and especially 12 (De libro Iudith).

12 The Holie Bible Faithfully Translated into English out of the Avthentical Latin (Douai: Laurence Kellam, 1635). The quotation is from vol. 1, the opening Argument of the Book of Judith (1010–1011), which discusses Jerome and lists the corpus of theologians who defended its canonicity. Cf. also the marginal notations to individual passages in the Book of Judith itself (1010–1035). Judith is inscribed in the time line of the Historical Table of the Old Testament at the end of vol. 2, hypothetically in the year 3500 after the Creation.

13 Without analyzing the frescoes, Mandel does observe that victorious Judith, typus Ecclesiae, is also typus Sixti V. See her Sixtus V and the Lateran Palace, p. 52.

14 Annales Ecclesiastici, v. 1, col. 369–71; cf. col. 248–49, where the context is observation of Jewish feasts.

15 See the useful but incomplete list of exegeses in D. Giuseppe Priero, Giuditta. La Sacra Bibbia: Volgata Latina e Traduzione Italiana, 4 (Turin: Marietti, 1959), pp. 31–32.

16 It is part of his In Sacros Divinorum Bibliorum Libros, Tobiam, Ivdith, Esther, Machabaeos, Commentarius (Mainz: Lippius), reissued in 1610 and 1612 in Paris, and included as In Librum Judith, with modern annotations, by Migne, in Patrologia Latina, Scripturae Sacrae Cursus Completus, vol. 14 (Paris: Apud, 1840), pp. 786–1283. See the entry ad vocem in Carlos Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, new ed., 12 vols. (Brussels-Paris: Schepen-Picard, 1890–1932), 7, pp. 1134–1145. I thank Michael Tinkler for his generous help with Latin.

17 Over 700 pages long, published by Prost in Lyon and subsequently reissued there, Madrid, and Venice until 1650, Celada’s work has to my knowledge escaped scholarly analysis. For publishing history, see Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 2, pp. 936–37.

18 Serarius’s Prolegomenon IV refutes Protestant objections to her canonicity. PL, Scripturae Sacrae, 14, pp. 790–801.

19 It was reissued with annotations in 1566 by Pamelius (Joigny de Pamele) in Antwerp; I consulted his 1626 edition of Rhabanus’s Opera Omnia, 3 vols. (Cologne: Hierati), 3: 243–77.

20 Bartolomeo Tortoletti, Ivditha Vindex et Vindicata (Rome: Stamperia Vaticana, 1628), was actually composed ca. 1608; Giuditta Vittoriosa (Rome: Ludovico Grignani, 1648). The engravings are after designs by Antonio Tem pesta and Nicolas de la Fage. The only modern analysis is Lorenzo Carpanè, Da Giuditta a Giuditta. L’epopea dell’eroina sacra nel Barocco (Alessandria: Edizioni dell’Orso, 2006), chapter 1, which I was able to consult late in the composition of this essay, thanks to the generosity of Paolo Bernardini. It confirms my contentions.

21 In Canto X, 323. At the opening and the close: ”Così volesse il Ciel, che da gli artigli / Barbari d’Oriente, e d’Aquilone / Ricourasse la Chiesa i prisci figli, / E Lutero cacciasse, … / GIVDITTA impetra tu, questa pietade / A le calamità di nostra etade.” For the full stanza, see Carpanè, p. 54.

22 See Beth Kreitzer, Reforming Mary: Changing Images of the Virgin Mary in LutheranSermons of the Sixteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), p. 122.

23 Tortoletti, Giuditta Vittoriosa, Apparato, c. 5. For the full statement, see Carpanè, p. 47. It’s not irrelevant that the dedicatee is Anne of Austria, Queen of France.

24 The pioneering treatise is by Canisio, Petro (St. Peter Canisius), De Maria Virgine incomparabili et dei Genitrice Sancrosancta (Ingolstadt: Sartorius, 1577). See Hilda Graef, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, vol. II: From the Reformation to the Present Day (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1965), pp. 18ff.

25 Tortoletti, Giuditta Vittoriosa, Apparato, c. 3.

26 See PL, Scripturae Sacrae, 14, pp. 1047–1054, with quotation on p. 1052.

27 See, e.g., Canto VIII of Giuditta Vittoriosa.

28 Quoted in John Marshall, John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), p. 278.

29 Gloriose Memorie della B.ma Vergine Madre di Dio (Rome: Facciotto, 1616), p. 128. See Ostrow, Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome, pp. 184–85.

30 Martin del Rio used the honorific ”Haeresum Expugnatrici” in his Opus Marianum (Lyon: Horatium Cardon, 1607), p. 3; Polemic 6, 884–909, is ”De Divina Militia.”

31 Vittorelli, Gloriose Memorie, pp. 128, 245.

32 In his letter (79) to Salvina and his Vulgate commentary on the prophetical Book of Sophoniam. For the former, see http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001079, with the quoted phrase in the final paragraph; for the latter, Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, LXXVI A: S. Hieronymi Presbyteri Opera Part I Opera Exegetica 6 (Turnholt: Brepols, 1970), p. 655.

33 See Priero, Giuditta, pp. 28–29.

34 A bound collection of 134 drawings illustrating the entire Book of Judith, with the date and Guerra’s name in a handwritten inscription. I thank Dr. Claudia Funke, the curator of the Rare Books Room and the Prints and Drawings Collections at the Avery Library, at Columbia University, and her staff for their exemplary assistance. Although mentioned in the Guerra literature, these drawings do not seem to have been the object of sustained analysis, a lacuna I plan to rectify. The Guerra attribution was first published by Phillip Pouncey in a review of A. Bertini’s I disegni italiani della Biblioteca Reale di Torino (in Burlington Magazine 99, 1959, p. 297); thence discussed by Elena Parma Armani in Libri di Immagini, Disegni e Incisioni di Giovanni Guerra, exhibition catalogue (Modena: Palazzo dei Musei, 1978) and also her ”La Storia di Ester in un libro di schizzi di Giovanni Guerra,” in Bollettino Ligustico, 1973 (1975), pp. 82–100, with the Judith series on pp. 85–87.

35 See Fiorenzo Gobbo in Vincenzo Benassi et al. (eds.), La Madonna della Ghiara in Reggio Emilia: Guida storico-artistica (Reggio Emilia: Communità dei Servi di Maria, 1988), pp. 25, 34–42.

36 De Angelorum Custodia (Padua: Petri Pauli Tozzi, 1605), p. 98; Judith is discussed on pp. 44–45. This is one of Vittorelli’s several books on the theme. Tortoletti too gives prominence to Judith’s angel throughout Giuditta Vittoriosa.

37 Forged in second-century polemics against ”calumnious insinuations of pagans and Jews” (Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, etc.), it became an essential Mariological theme. See Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought, trans. T. Buffer (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1999), pp. 46, 48, 52–8, 124–25.

38 From the ”Catecheses” traditionally attributed to St. Cyril of Jerusalem; see Gambero, ibid., pp. 131–140, with quote on p. 135.

39 Letter 22. See http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001022.htm. The quotation is in paragraph 21. Likewise the Psychomachia of Prudentius, which allegorizes the beheading of Holofernes/Lust in identical Marian terms. See the quotation and discussion in this volume by Mark Mastrangelo.

40 See Ann van Dijk, ”Type and Antetype in Santa Maria Antiqua: The Old Testament Scenes on the Transennae,” in J. Osborne et al. (eds.), Santa Maria Antiqua al Foro Romano cento anni dopo (Rome: Campisano, 2004), pp. 113–27.

41 Dürer’s print is from the well-known Life of the Virgin series. Caroto’s Annunciation is a diptych, with Mary and Gabriel on two separate canvases; it is generally dated to ca. 1508 or slightly later.

42 See the discussion in this volume by Sarah Blake McHam (Chap. 17); also Frank Capozzi, ”The Evolution and Transformation of the Judith and Holofernes Theme in Italian Drama and Art before 1627,” Ph.D. dissertation (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 1975), pp. 32–58.

43 Sixtus V was an ardent Immaculist. His famous sermon on the subject invoked Judith: Predica della Purissima Concettione della Gloriosa Madre di Dio, Maria Vergine, preached in 1554, while he was still a friar, at San Lorenzo, Naples. It was published there in that year by Cilio Allifano and in 1588 by Cacchij.

44 See Roberto Bellarmino, Ave, Maria (Siena: Cantagalli, 1950), pp. 29–51; the quote is on p. 42.

45 It seems to me that the source of the Judith illustration is a print by Claude Mellan after a painting by Virginia da Vezzo, 1620s. For the print, see Luigi Ficacci (ed.), Claude Mellan, gli anni romani: un incisore tra Vouet e Bernini, exhibition catalogue (Rome: Multigrafica, 1989), pp. 218–19.

46 In Prologue IV: PL, Scripturae Sacrae, 14, p. 800.

47 Vincenzo Bruno, Delle Meditationi sopra le sette Festivita principali della B. Vergine le quale celebra la Chiesa. It was incorporated into Bruno’s Meditationi sopra i principali Misteri della Vita, Passione, e Risurrezione di Cristo (Venice: Gioliti, 1585 and hence-forth). See Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 2, pp. 266–71. I used the Venetian edition (Misserini, 1606), where the Visitation reference is on p. 167.

48 See Maria Grazia Bernardini, ”La Cappella Bandini,” in Richard Spear et al. (eds.), Domenichino 1581–1641, exhibition catalogue, Rome, Palazzo Venezia (Milan: Electa, 1996), pp. 318–29. The first person to adduce Bruno as Domenichino’s source was Emile Mâle in 1932 in L’Art religieux après le Concile de Trente; see the rev. ed., L’art religieux du XVIIe siècle et de XVIIIe siècle (Paris: Colin, 1951), pp. 341–42.

49 See also Uppenkamp, Judith und Holofernes in der italienischen Malerei des Barock, pp. 111–17.

50 David Ekserdjian, Correggio (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997), p. 253; the only other recognizable Old Testament woman is Eve. For Volterrano, see Maria Cecilia Fabbri, ” ’La più grande e perfetta opera’ del Volterrano: l’affresco nella tribuna della Santissima Annunziata,” in Antichità Viva, 35, no. 2/3 (1996), pp. 43–58, especially p. 49 and fig. 23. On site one sees that Judith is placed directly above the word VIRGINI in the inscription below.

51 Canto XXXII, 10.

Table des illustrations

Légende 19.1. Giovanni Guerra and Cesare Nebbia, Judith Cycle, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Légende 19.2. Guerra and Nebbia, 5th bay, Judith Cycle, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1001k
Légende 19.3. Guerra and Nebbia, 6th bay, Judith Cycle, detail, 1588–89. Palazzo Lateranense, Rome. Photo credit: Elena Ciletti.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 779k
Légende 19.4. Bartolomeo Tortoletti, Ivditha Vindex et Vindicata, 1628. Title page. London, British Library, 11409.gg.17. Photo credit: © British Library Board.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 609k
Légende 19.5. Diego de Celada, Ivdith Illustris perpetuo commentario, 1635. Title page. London, British Library, L.17.e.8.(2.). © British Library Board.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
Légende 19.6. Giovanni Guerra, Judith Praised by the High Priest, ca. 1606. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York. Photo credit: Avery Library, Drawings and Archives Department.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 787k
Légende 19.7. Lionello Spada, Judith Beheading Holofernes, ca. 1615. Basilica della Madonna della Ghiara, Reggio Emilia. Photo credit: G.E.M.A. (Grande Enciclopedia Multimediale dell’Arte).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Légende 19.8. Giovanni Caroto, Virgin Annunciate, ca. 1508. Museo del Castelvecchio, Verona. Photo credit: ARTstor, 103-41822000556140.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 321k
Légende 19.9. Domenichino, Judith Triumphant, ca. 1628. Bandini Chapel, San Silvestro al Quirinale, Rome. Photo credit: G.E.M.A. (Grande Enciclopedia Multimediale dell’Arte).
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 346k
Titre Music and Drama
Légende Thomas Theodor Heine, comic drawings for Johann Nestroy’s Judith, 1908.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/1019/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 169k

Auteur

Elena Ciletti is Professor of Art History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Her research interests include Italian patronage and art from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. She has contributed articles on images of Judith to Refiguring Woman: Perspectives on Gender and the Italian Renaissance (1991) and The Artemisia Files (2005). She is working on a book-length study of the iconography of Judith in Catholic Reformation culture.