The Beheading of St John the Baptist (1510) by Albrecht Durer

The Beheading of St John the Baptist - Albrecht Durer - 1510

Artwork Information

TitleThe Beheading of St John the Baptist
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About The Beheading of St John the Baptist

“The Beheading of St John the Baptist” is a woodcut created by Albrecht Dürer in 1510. This artwork falls under the Northern Renaissance art movement and is categorized as a religious painting. The piece is held in the British Museum, located in London, UK.

The woodcut depicts a complex scene with multiple figures involved in the execution of St John the Baptist, a biblical event that has been a significant theme in Christian art. The artwork is defined by sharp contrasts and intricate detailing, characteristic of woodcut prints, with each line meticulously carved to define the figures and the setting. In the foreground, you can see the decapitated head of St. John on the ground, as a woman, possibly Salome, is about to receive it on a platter. A soldier stands over the body of St. John, holding a sword, suggesting he has just carried out the execution. Another soldier is shown binding the hands of the slumped body. In the background, you can discern an architectural setting that suggests a courtyard, with some birds flying above. The figures are dressed in garments reflecting the period style, and the expressions and postures of the characters convey a sense of drama and intensity associated with this historic religious narrative. The monogram “AD” can be seen near the bottom of the image, which stands for Albrecht Dürer.

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