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.
“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)
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