Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist

Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist


Jacob Duck

(Dutch, c. 1600-1667)

Oil on wood

Framed: 92 x 76.5 x 4 cm (36 1/4 x 30 1/8 x 1 9/16 in.); Unframed: 71 x 54.6 cm (27 15/16 x 21 1/2 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin 1975.79

Did you know?

The pommel of the executioner's sword is decorated with a grotesque head, suggesting an ancient or exotic setting for this event.


The colorful, exotic garments worn by the woman at the right demonstrate Jacob Duck’s skill in painting luxurious surfaces: she is Salome, daughter of Herodias. According to the New Testament, Herodias bore a grudge against John the Baptist, who condemned her marriage to Herod, ruler of Galilee and Perea. At a celebration dinner, Salome so charmed Herod with her dancing that he offered her anything she desired—and Herodias convinced Salome to demand John the Baptist’s head. Rather than depicting the actual execution, Duck focused on the executioner’s muscled physique as he departs the scene, turning to look at the viewer after having presented Salome with John’s severed head.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email