Another take on Salome as she is being presented with the head of St John the Baptist….

The artist is François de Nomé who (often placed under the pseudonym Monsù Desiderio together with Didier Barra) was a French Baroque painter, living and working in Italy.  I love his architectural dreamscapes of towering palaces under threatening dramatic skies, creating  apocalyptic atmospheres that breathes danger and doom. The subjects are highly imaginative but, I would guess, draw upon Biblical themes. The crumbling pillars and heaving grounds are like the cities and houses that fall in the Revelation, where ‘the sun blackened and the moon turned to blood’. Or T.S Eliot’s Unreal cities, where in a cyclical history, civilisations rise and fall:

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London