Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

Andrea Solario Italian

Not on view

Trained in the Milan of Leonardo da Vinci, Solario traveled in 1507 to France, where he worked for Cardinal d’Amboise. There he closely studied Netherlandish painting. In this remarkable picture Solario achieves a striking effect by contrasting Salome’s idealized beauty and jewels with the horrific head of Saint John, held aloft by the cropped arm of the executioner. The biblical story of Salome seductively dancing for King Herod and demanding as her reward the head of John the Baptist has long fascinated artists, and in the twentieth century notably inspired Gustav Klimt, Oscar Wilde, and Richard Strauss.

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist, Andrea Solario (Italian, Milan ca. 1465–1524 Milan), Oil on wood

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