Salome © beyond | Leopold Kogler


Herod, the Tetrarch of Galilee, has had the prophet Jochanaan imprisoned for constantly criticising his wife Herodias. But even in his prison the prophet continues his threats. During a banquet Princess Salome, Herodias’s daughter, hears Jochanaan’s words from the cistern which is the prophet’s prison. She wants to see this peculiar person. While she finds the prophet’s appearance attractive, he is  repelled by the Princess’s sensual beauty. Salome is aroused by his rejection and  wants to kiss his mouth. But Jochanaan keeps up threats from his dungeon. Herodias angrily demands that Herod have the prophet killed, but the King is reluctant: Jochanaan may after all be a holy man. As a diversion from this marital strife Herod calls on Salome to dance for him. She only agrees after Herod vows to grant her every wish. After she has danced she demands Jochanaan’s head. Herod is horrified, but Salome insists. Jochanaan is beheaded and his head presented to Salome on a silver platter. Now she kisses Jochanaan’s mouth.