Picture: The Birth of John the Baptist. Author: Jan van Eyck.
Taken from http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/jan-van-eyck/the-birth-of-john-the-baptist-1422
Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee and Perea (two areas in the North and East of modern Israel), apprehended John, so much loved and venerated by the people, and was aware of his prophetic charisma, which could be a threat to his own power. When John denounced Herod’s incestuous marriage with Herodias, who was his brother’s wife, the tetrarch imprisoned him immediately. One evening Salome, the daughter of Herodias, had performed dances for Herod, so that pleased ruler promised her to fulfill any wish of her. Herodias, in her hate towards the preacher persuaded Salome to ask for the head of John. So, by Herod’s order, John was beheaded, and his head was delivered to Salome on a plate.
Picture: The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. Author: Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
Taken from http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/pierre-puvis-de-chavannes/the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist
Taken from http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/bartolome-esteban-murillo/saint-john-the-baptist-pointing-to-christ-1655
Picture: Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. Author: Caravaggio
Taken from http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/caravaggio/salome-with-the-head-of-john-the-baptist-1607-1
Video: The life of Saint John the Baptist from the high reliefs in the Cathedral of Amiens, with the Gregorian chant background