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Siege of Bethulia

1533
16th century
18.3 cm x 35.7 cm (7 3/16 in. x 14 1/16 in.)

Erhard Schön (Nuremberg, circa 1491 - 1542, Nuremberg) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, German
Medium and Support: Woodcut
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.857

This single-leaf woodcut is developed in an unadorned, expository style that lies between more deliberately artistic and popular modes. In a sequence of vignettes, it relates the story of Judith, the heroine of the Apocrypha who rescued the Hebrew city of Bethulia from siege by the Assyrians by seducing and beheading their general, Holofernes. At the same time, the panoramic setting and many motifs refer to the frequent woodcuts of contemporary battles, like Schön’s own Seige of Münster. Schön was a prolific designer of woodcut illustrations and broadsides in Nuremberg.

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