Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

Salome Asking Herod for the Head of Saint John the Baptist

A work made of tempera on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of tempera on panel.




Giovanni di Paolo
Italian, 1398–1482

About this artwork

Giovanni di Paolo worked within the conservative artistic tradition of Siena, creating rich patterns and an intensely devotional mood in his paintings. Among his finest narrative works are these six panels, part of a series of twelve depicting the life of Saint John the Baptist, the kinsman and prophet of Christ. Other panels from the series are scattered in European and American collections; they may originally have formed the doors of a shrine housing a relic of the saint. In the first of the Art Institute’s panels, the young Baptist enters the wilderness to live as a hermit; later he foretells Christ’s role as redeemer, is imprisoned, and is finally martyred at the request of Salome, the step-daughter of King Herod.


On View, Gallery 204


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Giovanni di Paolo


Salome Asking Herod for the Head of Saint John the Baptist






Tempera on panel


69.1 × 36 cm (27 3/16 × 14 3/16 in.); painted surface: 66.7 × 33.7 cm (26 5/16 × 13 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions