The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Albrecht Altdorfer (c. 1480–1538)



8 1/16 × 6 1/8 in. (20.5 × 15.6 cm)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (accession Number: 27.54.1

Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1927

“The head of the martyred saint is handed over to Salome by the executioner as a crowd looks on. The scene of Saint John the Baptist's beheading occupies only the lower third of the image. For Altdorfer, the architecture and surroundings were clearly just as important as the figures. The composition is a study in perspective, with even the onlookers arranged in a diagonal line that leads to a point just above Salome's head.” — museum website

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