Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist

Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist

c. 1517

Albrecht Altdorfer

(German, c. 1480-1538)

Pen and brown ink and brush and white gouache, framing lines in black ink

Support: Laid paper prepared with dark brown ground, laid down on cream(3) laid paper; window mount of cream(3) laid paper mounted to recto

Sheet: 19.1 x 12.6 cm (7 1/2 x 4 15/16 in.); Secondary Support: 20 x 13 cm (7 7/8 x 5 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1948.440

Description

The majority of Altdorfer’s surviving drawings are chiaroscuro, made with pen and black or dark-brown ink, highlighted with white gouache applied with a brush, on dark-colored paper. The technique was used widely among northern artists in the early 16th century. Here, finely painted white brushstrokes define Salome’s elaborate garments and billowing, plumed headdress, emphasizing the figure’s emergence from a deeply shadowed background.

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