Even Holofernes’ headless corpse is like mehhhhhhhhhhhh
September 19, 2018 10:19 PM   Subscribe

How is this article not by Ortberg?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 PM on September 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

Correct top 2- correct order of top 2! Well done people who are not the Toast!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:43 PM on September 19, 2018 [14 favorites]

* We recognize that the genre of Silly Paintings Rankings was pioneered by the now-defunct website The Toast, and specifically by Daniel Mallory Ortberg, one of the funniest human beings alive. We will never be as witty as Daniel. This list is part of an elaborate multi-step plan to lure him into writing for Current Affairs.

Fair enough, great article and I can't help but agree with the ranking.
posted by drinkyclown at 10:44 PM on September 19, 2018 [15 favorites]

Came across this one earlier today. I am still disappointed that this list was not expanded to include this 15th century woodcut among the rankings. It's definitely top 5 material.
posted by The Situationist Room with Guy Debord at 10:45 PM on September 19, 2018 [10 favorites]

I like #8 as she seems like the sort of person to get shit done while also rocking that fabulous hat.
posted by Harald74 at 10:46 PM on September 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

Clicked to see if #1 was what I thought it should be, was not disappointed.
posted by andraste at 10:49 PM on September 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

Clicked to make sure the right one was first, was not disappointed! I'm also glad they gave props to the Toast and Daniel Ortberg.

#6 looks like if Jessica Jones went to the 17th c and cut off the head of Holofernes.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:51 PM on September 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

I love everything about this and in a just world Daniel Ortberg would have a daily paper that just churned out hilarious art history rankings and the world would be a better, more educated place, and happier place.

I am glad his idiom is now an idiom of the internet, though, if I can't have that. And that we all agree on #1.
posted by dame at 5:08 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

The Protestants threw the Book of Judith out of their bible on the grounds that it wasn’t recognized as authoritative in the Jewish tradition, but the Catholic and Orthodox churches have retained it on the grounds that it’s metal as hell.
~crosses self, genuflects...
posted by Thorzdad at 5:11 AM on September 20, 2018 [7 favorites]

Just chiming in to say that I'm grateful for this post and agree with every comment so far. That woodcut is great.
posted by harriet vane at 5:13 AM on September 20, 2018

Judith is a Jewish widow who ingratiates herself with the invading general Holofernes, waits for him to fall asleep, and then hacks his head off and takes it home with her (thus thwarting the entire invasion, because the Assyrians evidently had no Plan B if Holofernes was killed. Solid military strategy, Assyrians.)

Well , if the Ron Moore reboot of Battlestar Galactica had no other lessons for us (and it has many), it should at least have taught us that whenever someone loudly and repeatedly insists that "they have a plan," the truth is that this is all bluster and they're really just pulling it out of their ass as they go along.
posted by Naberius at 6:06 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Did a double-take when I saw this was in Current Affairs.
posted by skewed at 6:44 AM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

this list definitely makes my top ten list of Judith v Holoferne lists
posted by OHenryPacey at 6:54 AM on September 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

For a little while, Zoe Kazan had #2 as the image on her twitter page and it was my favorite visual joke on the internet while it lasted.

(She looks *uncannily* like Caravaggio's version of Judith)
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:09 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

While the art for #9 is not fabulous, the commentary slayed me.
Lyta: did you hear something

was it the sound of a fuckface being dead

Brianna: or is Holofernes still mansplaining from beyond the grave

death alone will not stop him
posted by hanov3r at 8:31 AM on September 20, 2018 [10 favorites]

got to (finally) visit Florence a while back. The Artemisia Judith is probably the thing I remember most clearly from visiting the Uffizi. It's astounding in person. Judith's expression is perfect — like, beheading a dude is hard nasty work, and her face shows that, but also this dude really really needed some beheading, and her face shows that as well.

I like to imagine her and her maid afterward, covered in gore, high-fiving and saying something like "Crone Islanders! We get the job done!"
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 9:46 AM on September 20, 2018 [11 favorites]


side-eye for the ages
posted by lalochezia at 9:48 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hahaha I sent this to a friend because we had just been talking about paintings of this story. He said this was like the "Fashion SWAT" of classical paintings and I could not have described it better. Wonderful little article and I'd love to see them do more like it.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:34 AM on September 20, 2018

Except it's not so...well, so Chevy Chase since he's been under discussion lately, when you do it to classical paintings as opposed to real people.
posted by Naberius at 10:37 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Just came across this and OF COURSE it's already an FPP. I completely stan for Artemesia Gentileschi, so, ya know, of course, she's first. I was aware of some of these other representations, but not all of them, so I learned something today.

Also, this:
Lyta: “the fuck are you looking at”

Brianna: Judith is rocking that orange dress and also that head like it’s an on-trend handbag

Lyta: MAIDSERVANT: Judith, do you want to wrap that head in a bag or something? It’s dripping everywhere.

JUDITH: Matches my fucking cape.

MY MOOD - 100%
posted by Sophie1 at 10:52 AM on September 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

The Judith in #1 is very "Will...you...hold...fucking...still...for...like...two...seconds...while...I...behead...you?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:54 AM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

posted by numaner at 5:34 PM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Love the commentary but this is a woefully incomplete list. There are SO MANY good Judiths in the world.

For awhile I was messing with people's faces in Photoshop as a hobby. When I saw this picture of MeFi's own youvees, I thought Judith, because obviously. She very kindly took a picture of her SO appropriate for Holofernes, and this is the result. She had the pic printed, and hung it on the wall of her house -- which tickles me to death.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 10:08 PM on September 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

Both of Artemisia Gentileschi's works on the subject belong on the list. Here's the earlier one which was excluded.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:15 AM on September 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

They also could have added Donatello's Judith Slaying Holofernes sculpture (youtube link) which paired nicely with his David in that it depicted little guys triumphing over big enemies.
posted by PussKillian at 12:20 PM on September 21, 2018

Just found this after Kavanaugh hearing finished; glad I did.
posted by mabelstreet at 4:53 PM on September 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

There's more!
posted by fiercekitten at 5:57 PM on October 4, 2018 [3 favorites]

Heh. I thought part two was even better than part one. Which is saying something. They're on a roll, more chopped heads are needed to keep it going. And of course as further proof of the validity of concept.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:26 PM on October 4, 2018

Brianna: also, an important detail here

you might THINK that Judith’s top just fell off in the struggle

but she is wearing her sword belt directly over her bare chest

she came topless and besworded ON PURPOSE

Lyta: and holofernes is STILL trying to check her out

Brianna: she’s angling him away though

Lyta: the male gaze and the female lol nope
posted by hanov3r at 7:14 AM on October 5, 2018

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