Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Artist:
Spanish (Catalan) Painter (mid-15th century)
Medium:
Tempera and gold on wood
Dimensions:
33 3/4 x 34 in. (85.7 x 86.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931
Accession Number:
32.100.127
Not on view
Forthcoming
château Mandoux, Orléans; [Spitzer, Paris]; Manoel Fernandez, Paris; [Kleinberger, Paris, 1924; sold to Friedsam]; Michael Friedsam, New York (1924–d. 1931)
New York. F. Kleinberger Galleries. "Loan Exhibition of French Primitives and Objects of Art," October 17–November 12, 1927, no. 2 (as "Salome Receiving the Head of St. John the Baptist," by Jean d'Orléans, lent by Colonel M. Friedsam).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Michael Friedsam Collection," November 15, 1932–April 9, 1933, no catalogue.

Milwaukee Art Institute. "5 Centuries of Spanish Art," September 5–October 25, 1952, no. 1b.

Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse University. "Spanish Art: Fifteenth Century to Modern," November 10–December 1, 1952, no. 2.

Syracuse. Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts. "Goya, Zurbaran, and Spanish Primitives," February 3–24, 1957, no. 7.

Atlanta Art Association Galleries. "Goya, Zurbaran, and Spanish Primitives," March 10–25, 1957, no. 7.

Jacksonville, Fla. Cummer Gallery of Art. "700 Years of Spanish Art," October 28–November 30, 1965, no. 11.

Louis Réau. "Une collection de primitifs français en Amérique." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 13 (January 1926), p. 6, ill. p. 5, calls this panel and Salome Dancing before Herod (MMA 32.100.126) "attributed to Jean d'Orléans"; comments on the awkwardness of the pictures' flat silhouette-like figures and their lack of perspective and proportion; notes, however, that the physiognomies are individual and vivid, and finds charm in the naiveté of the narrative.

Frank E. Washburn Freund. "Kunstpflege in Amerika." Der Cicerone 19 (1927), p. 732.

Louis Réau in Catalogue of a Loan Exhibition of French Primitives. Exh. cat., New York. New York, 1927, p. 20, no. 2, ill. p. 21, attributes it to Jean d'Orléans; comments on this picture's "singular and tasteful mixture of very realistic observation and a total ignorance of perspective and proportion"; compares the prison to that depicted in the retable of Saint Denis by Henri Bellechose (1415–16; Louvre, Paris).

[O. von] F[alke]. and [A.L.] M[ayer]. "New York: Französische Primitive bei Kleinberger." Pantheon 1 (January 1928), p. 52, describes this picture and the MMA Salome Dancing before Herod as southern French or Spanish in origin.

Louis Réau in The Michael Friedsam Collection. [completed 1928], p. 192, attributes it to Jean d'Orléans.

Bryson Burroughs and Harry B. Wehle. "The Michael Friedsam Collection: Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27, section 2 (November 1932), pp. 5–6, identify the three Salome panels as French primitives, dating them to the second quarter of the 15th century and finding similarities with Franco-Flemish tapestries and book illustrations of the period; note that Salome assumes almost the same pose in all three panels and the same figures appear behind the table in the scenes of her dancing and with the saint's head .

Katharine Grant Sterne. "The French Primitives in the Friedsam Collection." Parnassus 4 (January 1932), p. 9, attributes the Salome panels to Jean d'Orléans.

Klaus Perls. "Le tableau de la famille des Juvénal des Ursins, le 'Maitre du duc de Bedford' et Haincelin des Haguenau." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 68 (December 1935), p. 180, attributes it to the workshop of Haincelin de Haguenau, noting it shows the style of the school of Paris; relates it to a 1438 manuscript illumination of the beheading of Saint John the Baptist by the workshop of Haincelin, in "Le Missel des évêques de Paris," folio 359 v (Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, Paris, ms 621).

Chandler R. Post. Letter. September 11, 1936, considers the Salome panels Aragonese, not Catalan; suggests the panels are by a "rival" of the artist who painted the retable of Saint John the Baptist in the San Diego Museum of Art; believes they were executed by the same artist who painted the retable of Saint Quiteria in the church of San Miguel at Saragossa.

Chandler Rathfon Post. A History of Spanish Painting. Vol. 7, The Catalan School in the Late Middle Ages. Cambridge, Mass., 1938, part 2, pp. 824–26, attributes the Salome panels with certainty to either a Catalan or Aragonese painter, suggests they are by the Master of Saint Quiteria and dates them 1440–50; sees parallels in the elaborate costumes, figure types, setting, and haloes to this artist's retable in the church of San Miguel, Saragossa; calls the MMA panels somewhat "touched up".

Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 218–19, attributes the Salome panels to a Catalan workshop, dating them about 1460.

Charles Jacques [Charles Sterling]. Les peintres du Moyen Age. Paris, 1941, p. 16, no. 25, calls it a pendant to Salome Dancing before Herod, and considers both panels characteristic Spanish works painted about 1440.

Nanette B. Rodney. "Salome." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 11 (March 1953), p. 196.

Eric Young. "Spanish Painting: From International Gothic to Goya." Apollo 115 (June 1982), pp. 433–34, fig. 2, attributes the Salome panels to an anonymous Aragonese painter and dates them about 1430–40; suggests the MMA panels were painted by the same artist as a retable of Saint John the Baptist in the San Diego Museum of Art, whom he calls the "San Diego Master"; observes that the MMA panels are all "somewhat repainted".

Martin E. Petersen. Letter to Mary Sprinson. December 22, 1982, judging from photographs, comments on differences between the MMA Salome panels and the San Diego retable of Saint John the Baptist, suggesting they were not painted by the same artist.



This painting, Salome Dancing before Herod, and Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist (MMA 32.100.126 and 128) are from the same altarpiece.
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