Wow! I didn't know the history of this painting (or artist) when I saw this in Italy!
I just knew it was captivating in a very strange way - the women are so *determined*...
So what is it? Judith (and her maid) Beheads the general Holofernes, who was laying seige to their city. Do they look like heroes? Saviors of a city? What do ordinary people look like in the moment of performing such an extreme act?
Here's the back story (and a better picture) : https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-17th-century-painter-and-rape-victim-who-specialized-in-revenge-fantasy