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The Feast of Herod: T.2-1945

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Feast of Herod


Production: Unknown


  • Category: bridal tapestry



Tapestry depicting the Feast of Herod. The top panel depicts a variety of characters and scenes including the Virgin with Child and the Adoration of the Magi. The lower panel shows Herod and Herodias, both crowned, as the principal figures at a lavish banquet. The hall has magnificent columns and leaded glass windows. Below on the floor, Salome is sedately dancing with her partner, the music being provided by a trumpeter. On the far left Salome, standing under the leafy canopy of a big tree, accepts St. John's head on a platter. Our Lord is hovering in the cloud above this scene.

Legal notes

Given by Mrs Beasley

Measurements and weight

Length: 6'2.1/4" ft
Width: 5'1.7/8" ft

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1945-01-14) by Beasley, Mrs


17th Century#
Production date: AD 1685


Label text from the exhibition ‘Feast and Fast: The Art of Food in Europe, 1500–1800’, on display at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 26 November 2019 until 31 August 2020: The Feast of Herod Most likely made as a wedding present to decorate a new marital home, the brutality and sordid aspects of the blood-chilling story of Herod’s feast have been marginalised to leave a scene of multi-sensory feasting. Herod and his new wife are seated behind a table laden with pyramidal food compositions and various heaped platters; a servant carries in an ornate pie. Bottom right, Salome holds a platter with the head of John the Baptist, who was executed for having criticised the incest of Herod, reminding viewers of the dangers of food, greed, and sexual lust.

Thirteen Norwegian tapestries of this subject are known

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: T.2-1945
Primary reference Number: 77892
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "The Feast of Herod" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-20 16:34:07

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Feast of Herod |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-20 16:34:07|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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