Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

Judith by Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

  • This stunning Orientalist scene is the work of French painter Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
  • The subject is Judith, the legendary Old Testament heroine who beheaded Holofernes
  • Exhibited at the Salon of 1886, the composition exemplifies the artist's opulent style
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Item No. 30-7411
$29,500
description
specifications
description
Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
1845-1902 | French

Judith

Signed "Benj. Constant" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

French Orientalist painter Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant showcases his aptitude for the genre in this skillfully executed original oil on canvas. In it, the beautiful and exotically dressed Old Testament heroine Judith dons her sword in the midst of a luxuriously detailed Moorish-inspired interior. The composition alludes to the heroine's most legendary act: the beheading of the conquering general Holofernes. It is one of two works of Judith that Benjamin-Constant exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1886, and it would prove to be a favored subject for the celebrated painter. A similar scene by Benjamin-Constant depicting Judith bearing her sword is currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).

Regarded as one of the foremost Orientalist painters of his age, Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse from 1859 until 1866. Thanks to a scholarship, he was able to move his studies to Paris, and by 1871, he embarked on an extended journey abroad that lasted two years. In particular, his time in Moorish Spain and Morocco would have a lasting impact on his oeuvre. While there, he collected objects and made sketches that would provide the basis for numerous paintings in the years that followed.

Benjamin-Constant soon established a reputation as a painter of Orientalist scenes and became particularly renowned for his treatment of both fabric and flesh. He exhibited and won medals at Salons throughout his career, and painted the portraits of Pope Leo XIII, Queen Alexandra of the United Kingdom, Lord John Lumley-Savile, and Henri Blowitz, among others. Today, his works can be found in important collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Portrait Gallery (London), and the Musée d'Orsay (Paris).

Circa 1886

Canvas: 25 1/4" high x 13 1/2" wide
Frame: 33 3/4" high x 22" wide

Exhibited:
Salon des Artistes Français, Paris, 1886
Benjamin-Constant: Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, January 31-May 31, 2015, no. 76

References:
Benjamin-Constant: Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, Paris, 2015, by N. Bondil, ed., p. 76, no. 76 (illustrated)
specifications
Artist: Benjamin-Constant, Jean-Joseph
Framed:22"W x 33 3/4"H
Unframed:13 1/2"W x 25 1/4"H
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Subject:Genre
Width:22 Inches
Height:33 3/4 Inches
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