Salomé Dancing Before the Head of St. John the Baptist

After? Gustave Moreau French

Not on view

Moreau has often been associated with nineteenth-century French depictions of the martyrdom of Saint John the Baptist, especially after he produced his famous Symbolist painting Salome Dancing before Herod (UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles). This lovely watercolor, capturing the graceful, almost fairylike dance of Salome—who is enraptured by the music even in the presence of the gruesome decapitated head behind her—has often been associated with Moreau because of its subject matter. However, this vision of Salome as a young, almost childish girl in a simple, flouncy dress and floral headdress lacks the regal attitude of Moreau’s visions of her and casts doubt on a secure attribution to the artist.

Salomé Dancing Before the Head of St. John the Baptist, After? Gustave Moreau (French, Paris 1826–1898 Paris), Graphite, watercolor and gouache on cream wove paper

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