Carlo Pellicani (after Carol Buzzi), Judith and Holofernes

West façade, Milan Cathedral

In Judith 13 the Israelite heroine, having charmed her way into the tent of Holofernes the Assyrian general and plied him with wine, cuts off his head and places it in a bag. Then she and her maid take the bag to the Israelite camp to show the head to her countrymen.

This panel is above the smaller door to the right of the main door of the cathedral. It shows the beheading and the bag held by the maid. It corresponds to the panel above the smaller door to the left of the main door, which celebrates Jael's killing of Sisera. Each of the two compositions has a maid, a heroine, and a victim; and in each the composition leads the eye toward the central door, above which is pictured the creation of Eve. Like Jael and Eve, Judith was taken by the commentators to be a type of the Church.

View this image in full resolution.
Read more about images of Judith.

Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.