Beheading of St. John the Baptist (painting)

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Racławice Olkuskie
Catalogue note author
Maria Działo


The painting was probably created together with the foundation of father Andrzej Strzałkowski of the whole altar in the years 1700-1703. The painting shows Saint John the Baptist – a hermit, prophet, son of Zechariah and Elisabeth. Saint preached about the need for repentance and prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. Nevertheless, he exposed himself to King Herod, reprimanding him for his illegitimate relationship with Herodiana. A vindictive woman was seeking an opportunity to kill the prophet. During one of the ceremonies her daughter Salome entertained guests with dance. The king, delighted with the girl's dance, promised to fulfill her every wish. Salome, yielding to her mother's persuasion, asked for St. John the Baptist's head. The saint was beheaded in The fortress Machaerus located by the Dead Sea. An unknown artist shows the moment of his martyrdom, in which the torturer and Salome participate in the painting.

How to cite?

Maria Działo, "Beheading of St. John the Baptist (painting)", [in:] "The Sacred Lesser Poland Heritage", 2024, source:

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