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Giovanni di Paolo: 'The Head of John the Baptist brought to Herod'
This painting is part of the group: Baptist Predella
Herod's step-daughter, Salome, dances before him on the right, at a banquet. He promised to grant her any request and her mother Herodias told her to ask for the head of Saint John the Baptist on a dish; it is here delivered at the table, to the dismay of Herod and the guests. New Testament (Mark 6: 1-12).

The composition for this painting derives from Donatello's gilt bronze panel of the same subject on the font of the Baptistery, Siena (1423-7).

This painting is part of a predella of an altarpiece showing scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist; three other panels in the collection come from the same predella: 'The Birth of John the Baptist', 'Saint John the Baptist retiring to the Desert' and the 'The Baptism of Christ'. The panels have been associated with an altarpiece dated 1454 of the 'Virgin and Child with Saints' (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art) which includes Saint John the Baptist.

Other paintings in this group: Baptist Predella


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