(1660−1670), oil, canvas, 131,2 x 105,3 cm
NG S 1271, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
The motif of this wonderful painting is taken from the Bible (Judith 13, 1–9) and shows Judith just after she has cut off Holofernes’ head (his corpse can be seen in the background on the left) and is handing it to a maid to put it into a sack. The heroine is gazing to the heavens and thanking the Lord.
The style of the picture is characteristic of Pietro Ricchi’s late period and should thus probably be dated to the time around 1660–1670. The brushwork and the way in which the draperies fall are very similar to those on the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa of Avila in the Museo Civico in Udine, which also dates from the last years of the painter’s life. Judith’s face bears a remote resemblance to Guido Reni’s painting of the same motif, which is kept in the Galleria Spada in Rome, but the influence of Milan and Venice, which is particularly obvious in the lower part of the figure, can also be seen.
Restored: 1960, ZSV, Ljubljana.
Provenance: Joco Novaković collection, Belgrade; the painting was sold before World War II; in the Narodna galerija since 1950.
Exhibitions: 1960, Ljubljana, No. 24; 1983, Ljubljana, No. 16.
Lit.: Cevc 1960, pp. 21–22, Cat. No. 24, Fig. 15 (Giovanni Andrea Donducci, called Il Mastelletta); Gamulin 1961a, pp. 101, 107, Fig. 5 (Giovanni Andrea Mastelletta); Gamulin 1964, pp. 127, 133, Fig. 76 (Mastelletta); Rizzi 1972, p. 133, No. 24 (Tuscan (?), 17C); Gamulin 1973 –74, pp. 83–84, Fig. on p. 84; Zeri [& Rozman] 1983, p. 111, Cat. No. 16, Fig. 17; Poggetto 1996, p. 386, Cat No. and Fig. 290.