Henri Regnault, French, Paris1870

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, United States

Regnault initially represented this Italian model as an African woman, but after he later enlarged the canvas at the bottom and right and transformed it into a representation of Salomé. She is shown after having danced for her stepfather, Herod Antipas, governor of Judaea. The platter and knife allude to the reward she claimed for her performance: the severed head of John the Baptist. Regnault was killed during the Franco-Prussian War, just months after this picture was exhibited to great acclaim at the Salon of 1870. For years, the painting was considered a masterpiece of contemporary art. In 1912, when it was announced that it would be sold from a private collection, Baron Henri de Rothschild initiated a campaign to keep it in France. He was unsuccessful; "Salomé" was presented to the Metropolitan by one of the Museum's trustees in 1916.

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  • Title: Salomé
  • Date Created: 1870
  • Physical Dimensions: w1029 x h1600 mm
  • Type: Paintings
  • External Link: MMA
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Provenance Extent: Complete
  • Provenance: [probably Galerie Brame, Paris, 1870, bought from the artist for Fr 14,000; sold in March 1870 for Fr 16,000 to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1870–72; stock no. 522, sold to Cassin]; Adèle de Cassin (later the marquise de Landolfo Carcano), Paris (1872–1912; her sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, May 30–June 1, 1912, no. 67, for Fr 480,000 to Knoedler); [Knoedler, Paris, 1912; shipped in September to Knoedler, New York]; [Knoedler, New York, 1912–16; sold in July to Knoedler]; Roland F. Knoedler, New York (1916; sold to Baker); George F. Baker, New York (1916)
  • Medium Extent: Complete
  • Inscription Extent: Complete
  • Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (left center): HRegnault [initials in monogram] / Rome 1870
  • Credit Line Extent: Complete
  • Credit Line: Gift of George F. Baker, 1916
  • Artist: Henri Regnault (French, Paris 1843–1871 Buzenval)