She came close to his bed, took hold of the hair of his head, and said, “Should I be wearing gloves for this? I feel like I should wear gloves for this.”

– Book of Judith 13:7


The Book of Judith is a story in the Old Testament recounting of how Judith saved Israel from an invading Assyrian army by seducing and beheading the general Holofernes. Neat stuff. There’s a whole thing about its canonicity, but artists love their decapitations so there’s a bunch of art depicting the story. Caravaggio’s Judith Beheading Holofernes is one of the more famous pieces, but what is going on with everyone’s expressions here? I’m a firm believer that nerds have existed throughout all of human history, so I’m sure that when Caravaggio first presented this piece there had to be a bunch of Judith fans saying he butchered the source material and Judith was far more badass than his painting suggests. “Why the hell is she leaning away like she’s scared of some blood? Nah, Judy would get right up in there and rip out that guy’s throat with her teeth if she had to! And what’s her maid doing there? The story explicitly states that she told her to wait outside! *sigh* Just another fake fan capitalizing on the OT fandom.”

In other news, I spend too much time imagining basement nerd discussions throughout history.