Strong Women and the Hanukkah Story
Judith Beheading Holofernes” (Caravaggio, 1573-1610) For many artists and scholars, Judith's sexualized femininity interestingly and sometimes contradictorily combined with her masculine aggression. Judith was one of the virtuous women whom Van Beverwijck mentioned in his published apology (1639) for the superiority of women to men, and a common example of the Power of Women iconographic theme in the Northern Renaissance. (Wikipedia)
Cristofano Allori (1577-1621)’s pictures are distinguished by their close adherence to nature and the delicacy and technical perfection of their execution. ... His extreme fastidiousness limited the number of his works.
The finest of his works is his Judith with the Head of Holofernes. It exists in two copies in the Pitti Palace in Florence and in the Queen's Gallery in London. The model for the Judith was his mistress, the beautiful Mazzafirra, who is also represented in his Magdalene; and the head of Holofernes is generally supposed to represent himself. (Wikipedia)