LECTURE Judith and Holofernes: a Caravaggio controversy
February 12, 2019 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
John Gash, Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Aberdeen
John Gash is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at Aberdeen University and a specialist on the revolutionary early Baroque Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), on whom he has published two books and many articles. He has also published widely on Caravaggio’s ‘followers’.
His talk will seek to present the evidence for and against accepting as an original by Caravaggio a powerful, controversial picture of the Apocryphal Old Testament Jewish heroine Judith decapitating the invading Assyrian general Holofernes, discovered in the attic of a house in Toulouse in 2014. While the picture seems to align well with documentary references to a painting of this subject by Caravaggio on sale in Naples in1607, the acid tests, which John Gash will review in the lecture, are stylistic and technical. Although the majority of the picture is in his opinion autograph, it is not impossible that other artists intervened in limited ways in its execution, either as studio collaborators, or completing a slightly unfinished canvas when Caravaggio sailed from Naples to Malta in June 1607.
- February 12, 2019
- 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm