for forthcoming uk programmes of jewish or israeli interest

IOT: Judith and Holofernes

this morning (thursday 14th), 9.00-9.45am, on bbc radio 4
judith beheading holofernes (in the in our time series) (presented by melvyn bragg, with • susan foister, curator of early netherlandish, german and british painting, national gallery, • john gash, university of aberdeen, and • ela nutu hall, university of sheffield)

“Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how artists from the Middle Ages onwards have been inspired by the Bible story of the widow who killed an Assyrian general who was besieging her village, and so saved her people from his army and from his master Nebuchadnezzar.

A symbol of a woman’s power and the defiance of political tyranny, the image of Judith has been sculpted by Donatello, painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and, in the case of Caravaggio, Liss and Artemisia Gentileschi, been shown with vivid, disturbing detail. What do these interpretations reveal of the attitudes to power and women in their time, and of the artists’ own experiences?”

(if you missed it, available at

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