Salome Dancing before Herod
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Salome Dancing before Herod (Salomé dansant devant Hérode) is an oil painting produced in 1876 by the French Symbolist artist Gustave Moreau. The subject matter is taken from the New Testament, depicting Salome—the daughter of Herod II and Herodias—dancing before Herod Antipas.
Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. According to the Gospel of Mark, King Herod hosted a feast on his birthday for his nobles, the high officers and the chief men of Galilee. The daughter of Herodias came in and danced, pleasing Herod and those who sat with him. The king said to the girl: "Ask me whatever you want, and I will give it to you." So she went out and said to her mother: "What shall I ask?" She said: "The head of John the Baptist!" Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked: "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." The king sent an executioner and commanded John's head to be brought. The executioner went and beheaded John in prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
The name of King Herod's daughter is not stated in the New Testament, but it is Salome according to Flavius Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. Salome became widely known as a Template:Lang through the centuries, and has inspired numerous artists. The subject had become fashionable in the late 19th century; this work of art, along with Moreau's Template:Lang series, sparked a Salome craze lasting into the 20th century, permeating all forms of art. The Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde wrote a play titled Salome in 1891.