Images of Salome

In collecting assorted stuff associated with the dance, it's not surprising that I've acquired quite a few images of Salome, that "bad girl" dancer of the Bible who danced before Herod, which for some reason made him decide to cut off the head of John the Baptist.

A remarkable amount of myth has grown up around the story of Salome, such as the "dance of the seven veils." For more info on the mythology, see Aziza Sa'id's FAQ on Historical, Semi-Historical, and Fictional Dancers. Andrea Deagon also has some pictures, with interesting commentary, at her site in the photo gallery section.

In my collecting, I avoid pictures that include the dead head; that's just too gruesome for my tastes. Also, I don't usually care for images that show Salome as nude or semi-nude. Not that I have anything against nudity; I just don't like it being associated with the dance.

In usual fashion, I have put the images on separate pages to decrease load time. Here's what I have so far:

This is by Alphonse Mucha, an artist associated with the Art Nouveau movement. It dates from about 1897. (There's an interesting article on the artist by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College.) I like this because she has kind of a "gypsy-dancer" look. (Prints of this image are pretty readily available around the 'net...)

Both of these are from the covers of sheet music. The one on the left is called "Salome: Intermezzo for the Pianoforte," and the one on the right is "Vision of Salome Valse." The pages were a bit too large for my scanner, alas, but I got the important parts.

This is a cartoon from Le Rire, an old French humor magazine, dated 1896. You might be able to guess it was French because it looks like she's doing the can-can. The captions were, naturally, written in French; following is translation (with commentary) provided by my mother, Terry Stoleson.
Salome, in Hebrew: "Ta-ra-ra-boom-dee-ay?"
Herod: "I'm losing my head over this." [of Salome's dancing. (Biblical men usually made this statement when experiencing swelling under their toga.)]
The broken [used of words] voice of John the Baptist: "And so? [or Yah? or Duh!?] What about me?..."

This is from a painting, "Salome dancing before Herod", painted by Gustave Moreau in 1876. Moreau seems to have painted a couple of other versions of the same subject. Most have her in a very similar pose, which looks rather static and not very "dance-like". Considering the apparent lack of motion, the description calling it "lascivious" in the novel A Rebours (by Joris Karl Huysmans, 1884; refer to Nancy Thuleen's website article) is almost frightening. (Prints of Moreau's paintings are readily available around the 'net...)