Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist
Bernardino Luini, Italian (Milanese), active in 1512, died in 1532
62.23 x 51.43 cm (24 1/2 x 20 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on panel
Italian Renaissance Gallery E (Gallery 219)
The Bible's gospel of Mark recounts how King Herod, captivated by the dancing of his stepdaughter, Salome, offered her any reward. At her mother's urging, Salome requested the head of John the Baptist, who had criticized her mother's marriage. Like other Renaissance paintings of this subject, the beautiful faces of Salome and John belie the brutal violence of decapitation. This painting, its contours blurred by delicate shadows, is one of the works by Luini most indebted to Leonardo da Vinci.