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Russian Icon - The Severed Head of St. John the Forerunner (John the Baptist)

The icon represents the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist, known in Russia as "Saint John the Forerunner", forerunner of Christ, last of the prophets, and the first saint.  A popular and much venerated figure in Orthodox iconography, Saint John was beheaded under the order of King Herod who wished to please Salome, daughter of the king's lover Herodias, whom the Baptist had reproached for her adultery. The severed head of the saint is depicted on the platter shrunken in the sleep of death. God the Father shown in the upper left corner is blessing it from Heavens. The incription on the upper border states in Old Slavonic: "[True] Head of Saint Prophet John the Forerunner". 

Additional Info

  • ID#: 60-97-38-SP6-135
  • Size: 12 1/4 x 10 1/4 in (31 x 26 cm)
  • Age: ca. 1870's
  • Materials: Egg tempera on silvered and gessoed wood
  • Price: $1,200
  • Orthodox Cross