Feb 7, 2019
Feb 7, 2019

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

c. 1650

Nicolaus Knupfer

(Dutch, 1603-1655)

Pen and brown ink, brown washes and white heightening (oxidized), over black chalk on antique laid paper; framing lines in pen and brown ink

Sheet: 33.4 x 27.9 cm (13 1/8 x 11 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2019.8


Did you know?

The stoic Salome in this drawing awaits the head of John the Baptist so that she can deliver it to King Herod on a salver.


The Utrecht artist Nicolaes Knupfer was known for depicting powerful women who outsmarted or overpowered men. This drawing, probably a study for a painting, depicts the New Testament story of Salome, who was granted a wish by King Herod after dancing for him. Encouraged by her mother, Herodias, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist, against whom Herodias bore a grudge for objecting to her marriage to the king. The scene shows the theatrical moment after the beheading, when a stoic Salome holds a salver to receive the head.

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