Head of John the Baptist, anonymous, c. 1500

Head of John the Baptist, anonymous, c. 1500

alabaster (mineral), h 26.7cm × w 13.4kg. More details

At the request of his stepdaughter Salome, Herod ordered the beheading of John the Baptist. She was given his head on a platter. This macabre theme – often called Johannes in disco (John on a plate) – is represented here. The platter, however, is missing. The deathly pale alabaster, the open mouth and tongue and the deep-set eye sockets reinforce the harsh realism.

On display in room 0.2 John the Baptist

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