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Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist

Lucas Cranach the Elder16th century

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art

MNAA National Museum of Ancient Art
Lisbon, Portugal

An extraordinary example of the peculiar and vast female universe of Cranach’s work, in which grace and voluptuousness can be emblems of virtue or seductive perversion.
Depicting Salome with the head of St. John the Baptist, this painting marked the beginning of a series of works by the painter devoted to the theme of female power and women’s wiles. Salome, Judith, Dalila, Lucrecia and other figures or scenes, highlighted by the beauty of the models and the black or dark backgrounds, exude eroticism, a characteristic feature of the painter’s universe and a powerful reason for explaining his fame and triumphant success.

A contemporary of Dürer, Holbein, Altdorfer, Baldung Grien and Grunewald, as well as sculptors such as Veit Stoss or Riemenschneider, Cranach rounded off the golden generation of the German Renaissance, since, of all its artists, he was the one who lived longest and had the most productive career.

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  • Title: Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist
  • Creator: Lucas Cranach, the Elder
  • Date Created: 16th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 61 cm x 49.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: MNAA Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 738 Pint
  • Medium: Oil on oak panel

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