Decapitation of Saint John the Baptist. Lithograph by J. Dickson after Cesare da Sesto.

  • Cesare, da Sesto, 1477-1523.
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About this work


Saint John the Baptist was the son of Saint Elizabeth, a relative (Greek "syngenis") of the Virgin. He was therefore a relative of Jesus Christ. His father was Zacharias. He is often depicted wearing camel's hair; with a lamb, referring to his description of Christ as the "Lamb of God"; with a cross of reeds held sometimes by him and sometimes by the lamb; and pointing with his index finger, to indicate his role as annunciator of Christ. His martyrdom by decapitation led to his being invoked especially against diseases associated with the head, such as migraine, epilepsy ("le mal Saint-Jean") and quinsy


([London?] : M. & N. Hanhart lith. printers)

Physical description

1 print


The daughter of Herodias with the head of John the Baptist. Leonardo da Vinci, pinx. J. Dickson, lith.


Wellcome Collection 6251i

Creator/production credits

Attributed in the lettering to Leonardo da Vinci

Reproduction note

After a painting attributed to Cesare da Sesto in the National Gallery, London



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