The story of Judith beheading Holofernes is depicted in this painting. Judith is a heroine portrayed in the Apocrypha in the Bible. She saved her people, the Jews, from the aggression of the Assyrians. She entered the camp of the Assyrian commander, Holofernes and beheaded Holofernes after he fell asleep after drinking.
The beautiful Judith is shown holding a male head. Her body is partially revealed. Her eyes and mouth are all half opened giving a provocative look. The facial features of Judith resembles that of Adele Bloch-Bauer and Judith’s choker looks like the one in the portrait of Adele painted in 1907. Klimt borrowed the tree motif from an Assyrian relief in the Sennacherib at Nineveh to link his work to the Assyrian past.