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Salome Presenting the Head of Saint John the Baptist to Herod

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Salome Presenting the Head of Saint John the Baptist to Herod

circa 1511
16th century
19 cm x 12.8 cm (7 1/2 in. x 5 1/16 in.)

Albrecht Dürer (Nuremberg, Germany, 1471 - 1528, Nuremberg, Germany) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, German
Medium and Support: Woodcut
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Leo Steinberg Collection, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.837

This depiction of the story of Salome is one of Dürer’s lesser known prints. When John the Baptist condemned the marriage of Salome’s mother to King Herod, the young Salome seduced the King with a dance and convinced him to decapitate the saint. Dürer sets the episode in an intimate setting, similar to those of the Small Passion. The stirring exchange of glances between Salome, King Herod, and the decapitated head of Saint John provides the scene with a palpable feeling of discomfort.

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