rectangular frame with an octagonal opening; three standing figures, a male at left facing right holding the head of St. John's by the hair, a woman wearing a blue dress at right holding a silver tray with the head of St. John on it and Salome at center looking on wearing a white headdress with strands of pearls

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, 1670s

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Oil on canvasexpand_more

Gift of Curtis Galleries, Inc.expand_more  2003.117.1

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Grasping a gold plate holding John the Baptist’s severed head, young Salome presents this gruesome prize to her mother. Salome’s stepfather, King Herod, had granted her a wish after she danced for him at a banquet. Prompted by her mother, she asked for John’s head. John had accused Salome’s mother of adultery because she was previously married to Herod’s brother. Into this grisly scene the artist injected a dissonant elegance. Contrasting with the saint’s bloodied head and the shirtless executioner’s rough looks, mother and daughter are beautiful and refined, with porcelain skin and sumptuous attire that includes shiny pearls and elaborate headpieces. By Salome’s downturned head, Marinari suggested a pained remorse as she contemplates the result of her murderous request.

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Audio

Marinari, Salome with Head of St John the Baptist (#100)
Details
Title
Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist
Artist Life
1627 - 1715
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2003.117.1
Curator Approved

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rectangular frame with an octagonal opening; three standing figures, a male at left facing right holding the head of St. John's by the hair, a woman wearing a blue dress at right holding a silver tray with the head of St. John on it and Salome at center looking on wearing a white headdress with strands of pearls