Cushion Cover

1600-1610 (made)
Cushion Cover thumbnail 1
Cushion Cover thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

"Judith was left alone in the tent, with Holofernes stretched out on the bed, for he was overcome with wine. She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung there. She came close to the bed and took hold of the hair of his head, and said: 'Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!'. And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head from his body. After a moment she went out and gave Holofernes' head to her maid (Judith 13, 1-10)".

This tapestry woven cushion cover shows the episode of Judith who saved her city of Bethulia from the siege of Holofernes, general of the Assyrian king Nabucodonosor, by killing him after a banquet.

Heroines from the bible, such as Judith, Abigail and Esther, who saved others by their courageous actions, were celebrated for their virtue and depicted throughout the 16th and 17th centuries in a variety of media ranging from paintings and enamels to textiles.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Tapestry woven in silk and wool on wool warp
Brief Description
Tapestry woven cushion cover showing the story of Judith.
Physical Description
The border has waving floral sprays on a red ground with snake-like 'S' on the oblique lines. The central panel is showing Judith and her maid, dressed in archaic dress, standing on a little hill. Judith is holding Holofernes head by his hair in her left hand and sword in her right. They are surrounded by oversized lush verdure and flowers. Flowers recognisable are: honeysuckle, cornflower and carnation, also sprays of strawberries with flowers.
Dimensions
  • Length: 48cm
  • Width: 47.8cm
Credit line
Purchased through the Murray Bequest
Object history
Made at the Sheldon tapestry workshops at Barcheston, now in Warwickshire.
Subjects depicted
Summary
"Judith was left alone in the tent, with Holofernes stretched out on the bed, for he was overcome with wine. She went up to the post at the end of the bed, above Holofernes' head, and took down his sword that hung there. She came close to the bed and took hold of the hair of his head, and said: 'Give me strength this day, O Lord God of Israel!'. And she struck his neck twice with all her might, and severed his head from his body. After a moment she went out and gave Holofernes' head to her maid (Judith 13, 1-10)".



This tapestry woven cushion cover shows the episode of Judith who saved her city of Bethulia from the siege of Holofernes, general of the Assyrian king Nabucodonosor, by killing him after a banquet.



Heroines from the bible, such as Judith, Abigail and Esther, who saved others by their courageous actions, were celebrated for their virtue and depicted throughout the 16th and 17th centuries in a variety of media ranging from paintings and enamels to textiles.
Collection
Accession Number
T.273-1927

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record createdFebruary 8, 2005
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