john the baptists head

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Salomé, 1909, by Paul Antoine de la Boulaye (1849-1926)

Many may not be familiar with the story of Salomé, and those that do not are probably quite unaware with exactly what they are looking at when staring right at this painting. First of all, artist Paul Antoine de la Boulaye truly had exquisite talent at giving his female subjects a subtle yet readable expression. Here we see, what you’d assume - and partly correct - a young, light-hearted dancing girl. A girl seemingly more childish than sultry. This, however, strongly contrasts with the story of the infamous Salomé. A young girl whose beautiful erotic dancing pleased her king so greatly, he granted her wish to have John the Baptist’s head on a platter. When paired with the description “an icon of dangerous female seductiveness,” this painting does not exactly hold it up. This painting is a perfect example of how knowing the story behind a work of art can be the key to “reading between the lines” of paintings.

Requested by @taymitsu.

Godfried Schalcken - Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

circa 1700

oil on canvas

Private Collection

Jean-Baptiste Chatigny (called Joanny) (French, 1834 - 1886)
Head of St. John the Baptist, 1869, Bronze
43 × 12.7 cm (16 15/16 × 5 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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for the bible tells me so: S A L O M E

“For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”  And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her. And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.” Mark 6:22-28 (ESV)

i know not ‘seems’

21 unsettling, uncomfortable, subtly wrong songs for when entropy overtakes you

a sky for shoeing horses under  why  |  a hair on the head of john the baptist  saltillo  |  moon trance  lindsey stirling  |  crimewave  crystal castles  |  rock me now  metric  |  bullets  archive  |  ghosts  ladytron  |  paris is burning  st. vincent  |  the commander thinks aloud  the long winters  |  the 2nd law: unsustainable  muse  |  infra-red  placebo  |  run  awolnation  |  hi  psapp  |  infinitesimal  mother mother  |  lovecraft in brooklyn  the mountain goats  |  empire  alpines  |  when i’m small  phantogram  |  matches to paper dolls  dessa  |  dark doo wop  ms mr  |  hypnosis theme  wax tailor feat. marina quaisse

cover art from circle of abstract ritual by jeff frost