TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)

The Beheading of John the Baptist

Fresco, 350 x 300 cm
Cappella Colleoni, Bergamo

Tiepolo presents us with a particularly graphic depiction of the beheading of John the Baptist, which takes place in a stone dungeon. The torso of the beheaded man lies on a raised stone podium, the blood dripping down the few steps which lead to it, while the executioner, who stands over him, holds up the severed head. To the left, a female servant approaches with a salver. Behind her, a young woman turns from the scene in horror. On the right-hand side, Salome, who has ordered the murder, stands in elegant robes, surrounded by Herod and members of the royal court.