Oil on canvas. According to a slow version of the subject with Caravaggio, the image was said to have been sent from Naples to Alof de Wignacourt in Malta where they hoped to regain the Grand Masters favour after the artist had been evicted from the Order of the Knights of St. John in 1608. All Rights Reserved. Nevertheless, the picture is likely to be the one in the Palacio Real Madrid. The painting was discovered in a private collection in 1959. During this period of Caravaggio's life, the painter had fled from Rome to Naples, after being sentenced to death for his involvement in a deadly brawl, and now, in 1607, removed from Naples to Malta, and shortly after relocated to Sicily. Bernardo Luini also depicted this iconic Biblical scene – earlier than even Caravaggio, around the 1520s. Caravaggio uses a similar formula in his Biblical work of the same year, The Flagellation of Christ. although less likely, that the work was executed in 1609/10, but the fact that it was almost certainly painted in Naples is attested by the existence of a very old copy in the nearby Abbey There is also, as noted by Michael Kitson, a strong similarity between the head of Salome and that of the Virgin in the Madonna of the Rosary. of Montevergine at Avellino. [1]Composition. Malta was the military outpost of the Roman Catholic faith that was entrusted to the Knights of St. John. Caravaggio was said to have sent from Naples to Alof de Wignacourt in Malta in hopes of regaining the Grand Master's favour after the artist's expulsion from the Order of the Knights of The blances between Salome and the virgin in the Madonna of the Rosary painting further confirm the imprint. The picture of Salome with the head of John the Baptist 1609 was discovered by Longhi in a Swiss private collection back in 1959. Both the executioner and Salome herself wear expressions of detachment, giving the scene an eerie quality – devoid of the melodrama which other Renaissance depictions of Biblical stories sometimes show. Contact Us | Terms of Use | Links painting by Caravaggio in the National Gallery, London (Museum: National Gallery). Caravaggio (1571–1610) depicted the beheading of St. John the Baptist for the oratory chapel dedicated to the same subject in the Cathedral of St. John in Valletta on the island of Malta. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. According to the gospel of Luke 1:67–79, John was the son of Zechariah the priest and Elizabeth. Also, the impression is confirmed between the killer holding the head of the John the Baptist and one of the two tortures in Christ at the Column. Biblical and Classical themes were prolific in Renaissance and Baroque painting, and other artists have also depicted John the Baptist's tragic end. The handling and collection of this picture light link it to other works done in the city of Naples during the artist’s short stay there from 1606-1607. The National Gallery picture is in reasonable condition and has only small passages of repainting, such as the executioner's left hand, but, despite the widespread This is a late work by Caravaggio, probably painted towards the end of his life. © www.Caravaggio.net 2017 . There is also, as noted by Michael Kitson, a strong similarity between the head of Salome and that of the Virgin in the Madonna of the Rosary. As a sign of his admiration, Herod grants Salome one request – Salome's mother, and Herod's wife, Herodia, convinces Salome to ask for the head of John the Baptist. Guido Reni's Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (1639) was painted almost a century later, and although the style is clearly Baroque, some similarities to Caravaggio's work can be seen. acceptance of the work by scholars as an original, the National Gallery itself retains some doubts as to its authenticity and catalogues it as 'Ascribed to Caravaggio'. This scene is taken from a story in the New Testament (Mark 6), in which Salome wins the favour of King Herod of Judea with her dancing. Among the people he baptized was Jesus Christ which caused him to be referred to as John the Baptist. Another woman, who has been identified as Herodiasor simply a bystander who realizes that the execution is wrong, stands by in shock while a jailer issues instructions and the executioner draws his d… After being exiled from Rome, Caravaggio fled to Malta in June 1607 in the hopes of Like the Shroud of Turin or the Holy Grail, the head of John the Baptist has acquired a mythical, larger-than-life stature over the centuries, due to the prophet’s importance in Christ’s story. However, it occurs that Bellori was referring to an entirely different painting of the same subject, Salome with the head of John the Baptist. It was created by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in 1607. The picture was drawn in 1609. The early Caravaggio biographer Giovanni Bellori, writing in 1672, mentions a Salome with the Head of John the Baptist sent by the artist to the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta in the hope of regaining favour after having been expelled from the Order in 1608. Copyright © 2009-Present www.Caravaggio.org. This picture was discovered by Longhi in a Swiss private collection in 1959 and linked by him to a reference made by Bellori concerning a very late rendering of the subject which The painting of Salome with the head of John the Baptist 1609 has clear indications that it was painted in Naples city by the existence of an ancient copy in the nearby Abbey of Montevergine at Avellino. Caravaggio was among the artists to pioneer the use of this technique to dramatic effect during the Renaissance. It is, of course, still possible, It seems likely, however, that Bellori was referring to a different painting by Caravaggio of the same subject (see Salome with the Head of John the Baptist at the Royal Palace of Madrid). The image depicts the execution of John the Baptist while nearby a servant girl stands with a golden platter to receive his head. © www.Caravaggio.net 2017 . The image depicts the execution of John the Baptist while nearby Salome stands with … The handling and the raking light link this painting to works done in Naples during the artist's brief stay in the city during 1606–1607, an impression confirmed by the balances between Salome and the Virgin in the Madonna of the Rosary, and between the executioner holding the head of the Baptist and one of the two torturers in Christ at the Column and The Flagellation of Christ. Chiaroscuro was also highly influential in the subsequent Italian Baroque style.

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