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
Fresco
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.