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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Georges Lallemant
French, about 1575–1636

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist

Etching with brown wash, about 1625–30
William J. Hitchcock Fund in memory of Grace J. Hitchcock, 2005.97

Georges Lallemant used very thick and deeply etched lines in his theatrical image of the beheading of St. John the Baptist. The saint’s head has just been severed. The executioner holds it high for Herrod’s step daughter (commonly called Salome) to examine. She appears to be giving instructions for its presentation to Herrod. An old woman holds the platter on which the head will be placed.Georges Lallemant was one of the most important painters to work in France at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Little is known of his early training. He went to Paris in 1601 and was named Painter in Ordinary to the king in 1626. He maintained a large and active studio that trained Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) among others.