Matteo Rosselli: Judith and Holofernes, c. 1600

Vivat! Crescat! Floreat!

This largish (190×140cm) painting by Matteo Rosselli was not documented until it was auctioned at Christie’s London in 1999 with an estimate of £70,000–100,000. Francesca Baldassari, who inspected it for the auction, dates it early in the career of this influential Florentine artist, around 1600, and writes:

It is hard to imagine that Cristofano Allori could have painted his famous depiction of the subject without having seen the present picture. The brocades and jewellery of Judith, contrasting with the beautifully depicted introvert expression of the maid, whose head is covered with a white shawl, are elements that must have inspired Allori when painting his picture in the 1610s.

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