The Sword of Judith

Luca Giordano, The Sword of Judith, 17th century. Oil on canvas, Private collection.

Luca Giordano (1634–1705), known as Luca Fa Presto (“Luca work quickly”) for his production speed, was the leading painter of 17th-century Naples, Italy. Trained under Jusepe de Ribera, Giordano was adept in many styles. He worked in Rome, Florence, and Venice and spent a decade in Spain as a court painter to Charles II, where he made frescoes for the royal palace, El Escorial. The Sword of Judith most likely dates from the end of his career, when he returned from Spain to Naples. Judith is depicted reclining regally among a flock of putti. The composition and allegorical style of The Sword of Judith is nearly identical to the bottom right corner of The Triumph of Judith (1703–4), a ceiling fresco in the monastery of San Martino in Naples.

Luca Giordano, The Sword of Judith. 17th century.

Painting, usually murals, created in wet plaster.

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