MEDIEVAL SCULPTOR, French
(active c. 1120 in Toulouse)
Herod and Salomec. 1120
Musée des Augustins, Toulouse
The picture shows a capital from the cloister of Saint Etienne, Toulouse.
St John the Baptist's fate is narrated on this capital: on the right is the beheading scene and on the left, the feast with the dance of Salome, treated in intimate, anecdotal fashion. Herod strokes the face of the child Salome, who in turn sketches out a dance step. The style is supple and nervous, the many tight folds outlining the bodies; Salome seems to sway, and Herod resembles a raffiné prince. In respect to gesture and feeling the scene's realism is striking and is accentuated by the very minute treatment accorded to details.