PRETI, Mattia
(b. 1613, Taverna Calabria, d. 1699, La Valletta)

St John the Baptist before Herod

c. 1665
Oil on canvas, 90 x 190 cm
Private collection

This scene is described by the Gospel (Mark 6:17-20). John rebuked Herod for having married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. The tetrarch is seen on a throne, Herodias' daughter Salome sits beside her mother. John remonstrates with Herod: 'You have no right to your brothers's wife'. As a consequence Herod was persuaded by his wife to imprison John.