Salome and the Head of John (1910)

Tuxen, Laurits Regner (1853 - 1927)

Salome and the Head of John

Oil on Canvas: 25" x 17"
Catalog# TUXL-002

Mark 6: 22-25 And when [Salomé] came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. . . And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. . . and the damsel gave it to her mother.

[Having condemned the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias (the divorced wife of Antipas's half brother Philip), John the Baptist thereby condemned himself to a death by beheading; ordered by an unwilling and seduced Herod. Carrying out a mother’s vengeful plan; a seductive and corrupt daughter murders a saint – becoming a symbol of femme fatale.]

Erotic, dangerous, and proud, Salomé stands before a charger carrying the decapitated head of the murdered John the Baptist. Showing no remorse, she audaciously walks by – giving only a glance at her causation. Her hand appears to extend in dismissal as she unabashedly peers at the prize to which she offers no humane significance. She appears iridescent and fine, her bodice draped in translucent linen met with a richly colored sash at her waist and golden drapery falling down to the floor. Her jewelry is thick and shines as brazenly as its model. She is shameless in both her dress and actions, this being caught so masterfully by Tuxen. His strokes are quick yet meaningful. His palette offers both golden and dark tones – juxtaposing each other as starkly as the damsel and the condemning charger.

Tuxen was admitted to the Royal Art Academy in 1868 at the young age of 15. He later studied with Léon Bonnat in Paris.

Tuxen became a art teacher and tourth in ”The Principe on Valeur painting” a foundation of French Naturalism. Tuxen's coworkers at the art school were master painters Kristian Zahrtmann and P.S Kröyer. The international fame and talent of Tuxen gave him a high social position, resulting in numerous requests for several works for both the British and Danish Royal family. Among his royal works he did portraits of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Tuxen is considered by many as an artistic genius.

In addition to working with portraits, Tuxen traveled and did a long series of foreign landscapes from Paris, Firenze, Rome, Germany, Egypt, Palestine, St. Petersburg, Spain, Greece, Iceland, Greenland and California.

Exhibitions: Laurits Tuxen has been exhibited in Galleries and Museums worldwide like: Intl. Kunstausst; Berlin - Grosse Berliner Kunstaust; Berlin -Erste Intl. Kunstausst; Vienna - Victorian Exhibits; London - Works by Danish Painters; Guildhall London - L'art danois, Jeu de Paume; Paris - Espo. Intl.; Rome - Espo. Intl.; Barcelona - Danish National Exhibition; Brooklyn Museum - Victorian Gold Exhibition; Sydney.