Hidden treasures

Salome of St Mark's Baptistery in Venice

Unknown places & works

Salome of St Mark's Baptistery in Venice

 

Of all the biblical figures, Salome is certainly one of the most controversial and fascinating.

Her story of seduction and death was represented by many artists throughout the ages, such as in the 14th century fantastic mosaics of the Baptistery of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

Above the door of the Baptistery (where the events of St. John the Baptist's life are represented), we see her dancing in a sexy red dress with feathered sleeves, showing her gruesome trophy on a golden plate.

Daughter of Herodias, Salome, left her husband, Herod Philip I, and went to live with her brother in law, King Herod Antipas. John the Baptist publicly condemned the conduct of the uncle of Salome; first, he had him imprisoned and then, to please the beautiful daughter of Herodias, who had danced for him at a banquet, had him beheaded.

The story comes from the Gospel of Matthew (14: 1-2): The daughter of Herodias danced in public and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. And prompted by her mother, said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter..."

Legend has it that Salome drowned in the water while dancing on a thin sheet of ice, but it is more likely that she was killed in old age, as the contemporary Roman historian Flavius Josephus tells us. According to Jewish history, she would have been born in 14 AD, exactly 2000 years ago ...

You can enjoy the splendid mosaic of the St Mark's Baptistery which depicts Salome during the fascinating tour of St Mark's Basilica and its Treasures, which includes the exclusive visit of the Baptistery and the Zen Chapel, two areas that are not accessible in the usual tours inside the Basilica.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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