Sexual Fables

This article accompanies the fable
Life as Opera

Gustav Klimt's Judith

On the left, Klimt's famous Judith and Holofernes (1901). On the right, a later version Judith (1909). Or is it also Salome? Is that Holofernes' head or John the Baptist's that she's holding on to? The painting on the left actually has a title on it whereby Klimt identified it as the Old Testament heroine Judith (Klimt was closely bound to the patronage of Jewish Vienna). But this didn't stop some at the time from identifying it wrongly with Salome, whom they thought made a much better femme fatale. Either way it appears she's having a sexual moment...

Klimt-Judith-and-Holofernes      Gustav-Klimt-Judith

Freud thought losing his head was a good metaphor for castration. For less affectionate paintings of the same story see this link: Artemisia Gentileschi

For other Klimts, here and here

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