the baroque painting judith and maidservant with the head of holofernes depicts a story from:
This painting is attributed to Artemisia due to her adoption of Caravaggesque technique and composition.  Despite following the works of their contemporary Caravaggio, Artemisia and her father developed their own independent styles.  The explicit nature of the artist’s interpretation has led writers to believe that there is a deeper meaning behind Artemisia’s Judith, drawing back to the rape trial against Agostino Tassi. Identification with the protagonist of the painting is also believed to be an indicator of ownership.  The precise date of execution is up for debate, since Artemisia had been traveling around Italy at this time.  
The notion of Judith’s attempt at seducing Holofernes was not something the early Christian Church deemed appropriate. Religious interpretations instead relayed that God enhanced her beauty without interfering with her innocence as a woman, which led to the increased imagery that connected her to the Virgin Mary.  In the Middle Ages, Judith was often cast in the same light as the Virgin, comparing their similar triumphs of beheading characters that represented evil—Holofernes and the devil, respectively.  Steering away from an all-encompassing approach to story-telling, Renaissance art marked the beginning of focusing entirely on the suspenseful moments of Judith’s tale, particularly when Holofernes is beheaded.  A prime example of this is Michelangelo’s pendentive of Judith in the Sistine Chapel.  Mythological symbols have been implemented in the decoration of Judith’s armor, referencing the female war/hunting figures of Artemis, Athena and the Amazons. Donatello is most well-known for this application, but the tradition is connected to other artists, like Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Andrea Mantegna, Giorgio Vasari, Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi.  It is speculated by art historian Mary Garrard that Judith served as a righteous symbol from which people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries looked to in religious and political situations. During the Counter-Reformation, Catholics saw Judith’s conquest of Holofernes as their battle and victory over Protestantism, specifically Truth over Heresy. 
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Various art historians analyzed the painting, however, many interpretations not only of the painting but of Artemisia Gentileschi’s entire oeuvre emerged in the light of Linda Nochlin’s iconic feminist essay Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists from 1971.
The Judith Slaying Holofernes painting depicts the moment when Judith, helped by her maid, beheads the drunken general Holofernes after he falls asleep. The dramatic scene is based on the Biblical story from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, which narrates the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. Almost ten years later, Artemisia Gentileschi painted the second version of this scene that is now held in the Uffizi gallery in Florence. The patron of the painting is unknown, and it was first documented in the Signora Saveria de Simone collection in Naples in 1827.
Donatello, Judith, 1457–64. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Botticelli, Judith with the Head of Holofernes, ca. 1470. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
In Florence, Gentileschi enjoyed the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, among others. Later, in 1627, she received a commission from King Philip IV of Spain. Gentileschi befriended many artists, writers and thinkers of her time, including famed astronomer Galileo.
Born in Rome, Italy, on July 8, 1593, Gentileschi is credited as one of the greatest female painters of the Baroque period. She developed her artistic skills with the help of her father, Orazio, an accomplished painter in his own right. Orazio was greatly influenced by Caravaggio, with whom he had a brief friendship.