Judith and HolofernesJudith was a Jewish heroine whose story comes from the Old Testament Apocrypha. She is most often depicted holding the head of Holofernes, an Assyrian general whom she decapitated.
His army had laid siege to her city of Bethulia. She crossed the enemy lines with the intention of gaining the confidence of their commander. He attempted to seduce her when they were alone after a banquet, but she killed him while he slept, and then succeeded in smuggling his head out of the camp and back to the city. The Assyrians, who were now without a commander, fell into confusion and fled.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN