Christian painting of the Dance of the Daughter of Herodias


This is another painting of the daughter of Herodias dancing, this time with more faithfulness to the cultural context. I cannot say much about the dancing style (maybe Lucy could comment from a dancing perspective?) but the reclining posture of the aristocrats and the musical instrument seem much more authentic.

2 thoughts on “Christian painting of the Dance of the Daughter of Herodias

  1. LOL, I too, was a Baptist Dancer… enjoyed a great season of creativity during the few years I attended a Baptist Church in the late 1990’s! Fortunately I didn’t have the kind of mother that poor Salome was burdened with… and the only King I’ve danced before is our heavenly “Father”.
    Thanks for the opportunity to throw a few things into the conversation ring, aside from the style of dance it is claimed that the alleged Salome possibly used. Improvisation and possible conflation often run riot in fertile imaginations when it comes to speculation about subjects of a somewhat controversial nature. The mention of “Dance” can elicit strong negative reactions due to an overemphasis on morally questionable examples. I find it a little amusing that bad singing and bad preaching get far less bad press than bad dancing.
    A quick squiz at
    reveals some interesting information about the biblical story that has inspired conjecture, art and theatre in the modern historical era… so much is not clear as to exactly who the dancer was and exactly what cultural/courtly style of dance occurred on that ominous occasion. We don’t know if she belly-danced (socially or “professionally”)… quite likely, if the court was Hellenised, there would have been lewd social behaviour inconsistent with more typically chaste Jewish social custom.
    I am more concerned about the relationship between the girl and her mother… something very disturbing there revealed by the request for murder… than the use of “dance” in a mode and style that apparently “pleased” Herod and his guests. The consideration of context and motivation are essential to understanding the story… no doubt providing a wealth of speculation to fuel future artistic interpretation!
    Many Christians become very defensive and concentrate on the avoidance of carnality, rather than learning about and using their bodies for good purposes. It’s the old argument about a religious system that overly emphasises “contamination” instead of concentrating on “redemption” and “transformation”… a preferential option for seeing the bad in things than seeing an opportunity to improve things, to take orthodoxy and orthopraxy healthier, more harmonious, more “abundant life” levels.
    Some theological developments over centuries (especially those elevating Greek philosophy above Hebrew life/worship concepts) have caused many of us to be more concerned with practices of abstinence to the exclusion of healthy practices of engagement in our living physicality.
    The incarnation (Christ taking on bodily form), should educate and inspire us that humanity was created and can be redeemed for good purpose.
    Dance can be done in a way to respect God, ourselves and others, just like any other life-practice.
    It’s such a pity that the events surrounding the tragic decapitation of John the Baptist (Jesus’s cousin) give dance such a bad rap. The story has certainly provided inspiration for poetry, painting and thespian endeavour… however, a lot of it has been interpretive conjecture rather than a true rendition of historical fact. Some key points of historical fact in this case, are difficult to ascertain.
    Meanwhile, I’ll continue to be involved with dance for good purpose, whatever styles are respectful and carry the spirit of the Good News Christ lived and preached. I like how Romans 12:1-2 expresses something important for us to consider:
    “… make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
    2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
    Amplified Bible (AMP)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s