"Judith and Holofernes"
Simon Constam lives and works in Toronto. His poetry has been published in a half-dozen magazines & websites, among them The Jewish Literary Journal and Poetica. Since late 2018, he has published a new aphorism every day on Instagram and by email. He has been reading and writing poetry for more than 55 years and today has a poetry library of more than a thousand books. Simon, his wife, and a friend own and operate the world's premier solo travel website.
"'Repoussoir' takes, as its start, the painting Paris Street; Rainy Day (1877) by Gustave Caillebotte."
"Many Renaissance and Baroque painters took up the story, told in the Book of Judith, of the beautiful widow who saved her town from certain destruction at the hands of the Assyrian General Holofernes by entering his camp, seducing him, and then beheading him.
Among those who painted the subject were Dore, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, and Lucas Cranach the Elder. Probably the most famous painting on the subject is Gustav Klimt's Judith and the Head of Holofernes. Judith's beauty is paramount in the painting, and only after our first gaze do we see, in the lower right, part of the severed head of Holofernes.
In recent years, with the resurrection of the reputation of Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), her painting has become recognized for its brilliance: Judith Slaying Holofernes emphasizes the brutality of the act, sparing no detail. Gentileschi was raped in her youth. It's said the painting may be an expression of her desire for revenge."