Henri Regnault: Salomé (1870)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

A nice painting from the French painter Henri Regnault (1843-1871). Depicted is Salomé, the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. Salomé is best known for the biblical scene from the New Testament (Mark 6:17-29 and Matthew 14:3-11). In this scene she dances before Herod Antipas which pleased him very much. After the dance Herod promised to give her whatsoever Salomé would ask of him. Salomé consulted with her mother and asked for the head of John the Baptist (who was a prisoner in the dungeon of Herod II at this time). Reluctantly Herod gave in and ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded and gave the severed head to Salomé. Salomé is shown here as a typical temptress with ruffled hair and clothes in disarray. She just finished her dance and her platter awaits her reward. Painting from 1870.