oil on canvas 75.5 x 98 cm Painted circa 1640 The story of Judith and Holofernes comes from the deuterocanonical Book of Judith in the Old Testament. The beautiful Israelite widow Judith decided to save her city, besieged by the Assyrians. She went into the enemy camp of Holofernes, an Assyrian invading general, to win his confidence. During a great banquet, Judith seduced Holofernes, then beheaded him while he was drunk. She returned to her city with the severed head, and the Hebrews defeated the enemy. Judith was understood in the Renaissance as a symbol of civic virtue, of intolerance of tyranny and of a just cause triumphing over evil.