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Core Record

Painting Title Salome with the Head of John the Baptist
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to after Spada, Leonello (Italian painter, 1576-1622)
Previously attributed to after Paolini, Pietro (Italian painter, 1603-1681)
Previously attributed to after Gramatica, Antiveduto (Italian painter, 1571-1626)
previously attributed to Manetti, Rutilio di Lorenzo (Italian painter, 1571-1639)
Date Earliest possibly about 1610
Date Latest possibly about 1680

Salome is to the left, next to her mother Herodias; they are holding a charger with the head of Saint John the Baptist and showing it to Herod, on the right. The subject is taken from Mark 6.21-29: Herodias was a wife of Herod II, but she left him to marry his half-brother Herod Antipas, and was publicly criticised by John the Baptist, who eventually was arrested by Herod Antipas, although in fact Herod did not wish to kill him. However, on his birthday feast Herod was so pleased with the dance performed by Herodias' daughter (Salome), that he promised to grant her a wish. Encouraged by her mother, Salome demanded the head of John the Baptist. Herod agreed, although he was very unhappy about John's execution.

YORAG : 1127, acquired as by Antiveduta Grammatica, seems to be a copy after a picture sold at Christie's in London on 26 November 1965 lot 51 as by Grammatica, but which was later attributed to Paolo Paolini and with that attribution sold at Finarte in Milan on 24 October 1987 (lot 105), and finally, tentatively, attributed by Benedict Nicolson to Lionello Spada. Another version (probably a copy of the above) was sold at Stockholms Auktionsverk on 28th May 2009 (lot 2340), also attributed to Lionello Spada by Stéphane Pinta and Eric Turquin at Cabinet Turquin in Paris, with no reference to the painting sold in Milan. Thus it it seems reasonable to call the YORAG : 1127 'a copy after Lionello Spada', although the attribution of the original remains open.

Current Accession Number YORAG : 1127
Subject religion (Salome); figure
Measurements 123.3 x 162.6 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Thorntons of York 1966.
Provenance Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 9 April 1965, lot 17 as by Rutilio Manetti.
Publications York Art Gallery Catalogue - Catalogue of Paintings, Vol. III: English and European 19th and 20th centuries, The Reserve Collection, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1974, p. 107 as after Paolo Paolini; Nicolson, B., Vertova, L., Caravaggism in Europe, Torino, 1989, vol. I, p. 179 as probably after Lionello Spada; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 320 as after Pietro Paolini.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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