Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna/©Erich Lessing
Although often depicted by artists as calculating and cold—as in this painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)—Judith nevertheless won praise for her courage and her piety. When she returned to her Galilee village with the head of Holofernes, the village’s chief magistrate Uzziah exclaimed: “My daughter, more blessed are you by God Most High than all women on earth…May God grant you every blessing! For you risked your own life when our nation was brought to its knees. You went out boldly to meet the disaster that threatened us, walking a straight line before our God” (Judith 13:18, 20).