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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Artemisia, now often refered to as Judith at the Banquet of Holofernes, was a 1634 oil on canvas by Rembrandt that now resides at the world famous Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain

The lady found modelling for this portrait painting is clearly the same as that used by artist Rembrandt in Minerva and you will find the same trademark of Rembrandt in terms of use of lighting and also his additions of symbolic items that decorate the scene.

You will find, as with Minerva, a plethora of symbolic items that adorn this scene. The precise intention of Rembrandt was misintepreted for many centuries before recently when it was correctly attributed as Judith at the banquet of Holofernes. Previously, the portrait was labelled as Sophonisba or Artemisia. There can be no question that the model used here, as well as in Minerva, is that of the artist's wife, Saskia.

There are still considerable question marks over this painting with regards the artist's use of symbolism but it has always been considered a highly skilled work which can be enjoyed by the eye, regardless of quite the meaning behind it.

The Museo del Prado in Madrid holds an unbelievable selection of work from right across the spectrum of art history. You will find the likes of Fra Angelico, Albrecht Durer (Self-Portrait), Hieronymus Bosch (The Garden of Earthly Delights Triptych), Raphael, Titian, Rubens and most famously Las Meninas by Diego Velazquez.