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Dance - Head - Blood

Staging Salome in Quattrocento and Cinquecento Painting
Filippo Lippi (1406-1469), Dancing Salome, 1452-1464, Prato, Duomo, Cappella Maggiore
Regards croisés
4th March 2024 from 14:00 pm to 16:00 pm
INHA, galerie Colbert, salle Vasari (1er étage), 2 rue Vivienne ou 6 rue des Petits Champs, 75002 Paris

Barbara Baert (KU Leuven)

Dance - Head -Blood. Staging Salome in Quattrocento and Cinquecento Painting

The lecture revisits the iconography of the death of John the Baptist according to Mark 6:14-29. The Gospels demonstrate an intense temporal plot and a complex spatial structure with Salome as the ambivalent protagonist. The head is demanded, the head is decapitated, the head is posed on a platter, and the head is handed over on the platter. During this swift sequence of actions - cum festinatione - the text suggests convoluted situations both indoors and outdoors. Medieval and Renaissance artists translated this narrative labyrinth with consideration of the visual clarity of the story, the Pathosformeln of the dramatis personae, and the moral message of the Prodromos’ martyrdom.
The lecture will discuss and compare the different visual strategies of ‘framing’ in medieval and renaissance cycles, such as contamination, overlap, inversion, corner, leverage, cut, mise-en-abîme and dripping. The exposé will also show how these pictorial solutions unfold, sustain, suppress, and emphasise symbolic archetypes regarding, among others, the female court dance, mimetic violence, and the sacrificial blood taboo. By integrating the hermeneutics of exegesis and semiotics, of anthropology and iconology, Barbara Baert aims to pay tribute to the versatility of the Humanities and the resilience of the History of Art, both celebrated so generously by the Centre-André-Chastel.

Intervention en anglais