'Judith', shell cameo

'Judith', shell cameo

'Judith'
Shell cameo
France
About 1530-50
Shell, with isinglass (fish glue) backing
Museum no. A.58-1930
Given by Dr W.L. Hildburgh FSA

The Old Testament figure of Judith holds aloft the severed head of the Assyrian general Holofernes. By using her beauty and charm, Judith had gained his favour and, while he lay in a drunken sleep, decapitated him. The scene was often viewed as an allegory of virtue triumphing over vice.