Skip to main content

Sebastiano del Piombo, Judith (or Salome?)

Key facts
Full title Judith (or Salome?)
Artist Sebastiano del Piombo
Artist dates about 1485 - 1547
Date made 1510
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 54.9 × 44.5 cm
Inscription summary Dated
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2493
Location Room 12
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Judith (or Salome?)
Sebastiano del Piombo

A young woman is moving towards an open window or door through which a hilly landscape can be seen. She turns to look back at us over her shoulder, her arm parallel with a stone parapet on which the date 1510 is written. On a metal salver she carries the greyish-green severed head of a man. The woman’s expression is hard to read – her lips are pressed closed but her eyes glint with moisture and emotion. Her identity is not entirely clear – she could be Salome with the head of John the Baptist or Judith with the head of Holofernes.

We do not know who commissioned this painting, which the young Sebastiano painted shortly before he moved permanently to Rome. The atmospheric rendering of the landscape view reveals the influence of his older colleagues Giovanni Bellini and especially Giorgione, with whom Sebastiano appears to have been close.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo