Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist (c.1488) by Sandro Botticelli

The artwork “Salome with the Head of St John the Baptist” by Sandro Botticelli is a significant piece of the Early Renaissance art movement. Created circa 1488, this religious painting is executed on a panel using tempera as the medium. The artwork’s dimensions are relatively modest at 21 cm by 41 cm. It is currently housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, where it contributes to the rich tapestry of Renaissance art on display.

The artwork features Salome, a figure from the New Testament, who is traditionally associated with the death of Saint John the Baptist. She is depicted in profile, gracefully holding a platter bearing the severed head of Saint John. Salome’s stance is one of serene composure, her facial expression betraying neither remorse nor pleasure, which evokes a sense of detachment from the grisly burden she bears. The background presents a wall that appears to be part of a fortress or palace, with a sliver of landscape visible in the distance, suggesting the event is taking place within a secluded, private chamber. The limited color palette and focus on form and composition are reflective of the Early Renaissance style, emphasizing narrative and the exploration of human emotion within religious contexts.


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