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Head of Saint John the Baptist Presented to Salome
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Head of Saint John the Baptist Presented to Salome

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description These scenes from earliest Christian history are set amid fantasy architecture, mysteriously lit under dark skies. The small scale of the figures makes the buildings seem enormous. De Nomé has imagined ancient streetscapes of Athens and Jerusalem as lined with sculpture and rich architectural ornament. In the scene of St. Paul preaching (Walters 37.328), a circular pagan temple stands next to a lavish entrance to a synagogue, with a statue of Moses at the left that appears to be adapted from the famous Well of Moses of 1395-1404 by Claus Sluter in Dijon. De Nomé's mixture of classical and late medieval Gothic elements from his homeland adds to the uniqueness and eccentricity of the compositions. The small size of the copper plates and the complexity of the compositions call attention to the artist's virtuosity and skill. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 343, pp. 466-467.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
1/01/1949Treatmentexamined for exhibition; varnish removed or reduced
3/01/1969Treatmentcoated; filled; re-framed
1/19/1982Treatmentcoated; filled; lined; loss compensation; re-framed; surface cleaned; varnish removed or reduced
  • The Fantastic Visions of Monsù Desiderio. The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1950.
  • Scenes and Spectacles: The Theatre-World of the Baroque. Paul Klapper Library, Flushing. 1962.
  • An Exhibition of the Treasures of The Walters Art Gallery. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York. 1967.
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
  • François de Nomé: Theatre of Light and Destruction. The Menil Collection, Houston. 1991-1992.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 863, as Flemish]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Inscribed on Saint John the Baptist, lower center: S. MATHEO CAP XIIII; [Translation] Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 14
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1620-1624 (Baroque)
oil on copper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H: 7 7/16 x W: 9 7/16 in. (18.9 x 24 cm)

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