The subject is taken from the New Testament (Mark 6: 22-9), and shows Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist which she has been granted by Herod.

The composition owes much to the inventions of Leonardo, and the strong chiaroscuro (the balance of light and shade) is also influenced by him. The flesh tones and the pinkish red of Salome's robe have faded considerably with time; the brown stripes of the tablecloth were once a rich green.

Key facts

Artist dates
active about 1500 - 1550
Full title
Date made
probably about 1510-30
Medium and support
Oil on poplar
68.6 x 57.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number
Location in Gallery