GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
Scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist: 3. Feast of Herod (detail)c. 1315
Peruzzi Chapel, Santa Croce, Florence
The detail shows the encounter between Herod and the henchman, who hands him the severed head as if it were a dish of fare. Even although the surface of the faces is badly damaged, this moment of horror and outrage is still clear: plates, hands, dishes and head form an alarmingly brutal unity, over which soldier and king look at one another.