Object Image

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

The head of the martyred saint is handed over to Salome by the executioner as a crowd looks on. The scene of Saint John the Baptist's beheading occupies only the lower third of the image. For Altdorfer, the architecture and surroundings were clearly just as important as the figures. The composition is a study in perspective, with even the onlookers arranged in a diagonal line that leads to a point just above Salome's head.

Credit: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1927 ...
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20.5 x 15.6cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection