Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

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.

Provenance

Duke of Ascoli, Naples [see note 1]. With Elia Volpi (b. 1858 - d. 1938), Florence [see note 2]. 1921, Duveen Brothers, New York; 1921, sold by Duveen to Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz (Henrietta Goddard Wigglesworth) (b. 1847 - d. 1927), Boston; gift of Mrs. Walter Scott Fitz to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 20, 1921)



NOTES:

[1] Luca Beltrami, "Luini, 1512-1532" (Milan, 1911), p. 566, records it as being in the Duke of Ascoli collection. [2] Marilena Tamassia, "Collezioni d'arte tra Ottocento e Novecento: Jacquier fotografi a Firenze 1870-1935" (Naples, 1995), p. 224, no. 51517.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. W. Scott Fitz

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

Dimensions
62.23 x 51.43 cm (24 1/2 x 20 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on panel
Classification
Paintings
Type
Religious - New Testament
Accession Number
21.2287
On view
Italian Renaissance Gallery - 219

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