Salome with the Head of John the Baptist

Titian (Italian, c.1487/90-1576)
16th century
Oil on canvas 
34 x 29 in. (86.4 x 73.7 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

This painting is first documented in the 1603 inventory of the prestigious Roman collection of Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, alongside another painting of the same subject and by the same artist: Tiziano Vecellio. Both paintings passed by inheritance into the Doria Pamphilij Gallery, but whereas the better version remained in the collection (and still resides there today), the Simon painting was sold by the Doria family in the late eighteenth century. It has been called the best workshop replica of the Doria original. Why two paintings of the same style and subject came to be owned by the same family for almost two hundred years has never been established.

Titian was known to have a large, bustling workshop, where students duplicated a number of his most popular compositions; some paintings were finished or corrected by Titian himself, allowing them to be sold as the work of the master. In this case, at least four versions of the Doria original (which was executed around 1515) are known to have been made.


Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini, Rome, 1603;
Doria-Pamphili, Palace Doria, from the Guarda Roba, Rome, by 1794.
William Young Ottley (sale, London, 24 January 1801, lot 45);
William Young Ottley (sale, London, Christie’s, 16 May 1801, lot 13, for ₤147, as Titian, The Daughter of Herodias) to;
Lord D. Private, who possibly bought in.
Sir Richard Sullivan (d. 1806) (sale, London, Christie’s, 9 April 1808, lot 14, for £252 as Titian, The Daughter of Herodias with the Head of St. John, from the Doria collection);
Sir Richard Sullivan, Ember Court, Thames Ditton (sale, London, Christie’s, 18 June 1859, lot 17, as Titian, The Daughter of Herodias, from the Doria collection).
George A. F. Cavendish Bentinck, London and Brownsea Island (sale, London, Christie’s, 11 July 1891, lot 779, as Giorgione, Herodias, with the head of St. John the Baptist, and an attendant, a replica of the picture in the Borghese Gallery, from the Novar Collection).
Charles Fairfax Murray.
Charles Butler, 1891.
Robert H. (1850-1929) and Evelyn Holford Benson, London, by at least 1894, sold 1 June 1927 to;
[Duveen Bros., New York, stock no. 29351, on loan 1938 to];
Prince Paul of Yugoslavia, Belgrade, returned before 27 May 1940 to;
[Duveen Bros., Paris, shipped after 27 May 1940 to];
[Duveen, Bros., New York, stock no. 30053, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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