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A number of biblical stories, including Judith and Holofernes, David and Goliath and the life of Saint John the Baptist, involve decapitation (beheading).

Artist such as Liss have enjoyed exploiting the opportunities for gruesome drama which these incidents provide.

Judith in the Tent of Holofernes
Johann Liss
about 1622
Salome receives the Head of John the Baptist
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio