Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

Andrea Solario Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 610

At a fateful banquet, Salome was granted one wish by her stepfather, King Herod. Stunningly, she asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter because he opposed her mother’s marriage to the king. Solario’s unusual composition includes only the hand of the executioner, de-emphasizing his role in the gruesome scene and placing the blame (literally and figuratively) in Salome’s hands. Solario’s style was shaped by his travels. In Venice he encountered Netherlandish influences that were popular in the city. In Milan he was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s naturalism and delicate treatment of light. Solario executed this picture in France at the castle of Cardinal Georges d’Amboise, where he worked alongside French and Italian architects and sculptors.

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

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