Maker: Paul Manship , American, 1885-1966
Dimensions: 18 1/4 x 13 3/8 x 10 1/4 in. (46.4 x 34 x 26 cm.)
Medium: gilt bronze on marble base
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Purchased with funds from the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation
Object Number: 95.20
Label Text: Manship's Salome is one of his most exotic works and may have been influenced by contemporary dance performances. The decorative treatment of form, the graceful and rhythmic contours, and the planar orientation of the figure have parallels in modern choreography, such as that of Isadora Duncan. Salome also demonstrates how Manship rejected naturalistic description for the flattened form and simplified, abstract shapes of Modernism. The decorative and stylized patterns of the hair, eyes, jewelry, and heavy draperies, by contrast, suggest archaic Greek sources. Manship's success was due in part to the way his work married the classical and the abstract, the Modernist and the traditionalist. The New Testament story of Salome dancing for King Herod, who then promised to give her in recompense whatever she wanted, fascinated writers, composers, and artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Oscar Wilde, Richard Strauss, Aubrey Beardsley, and Robert Henri all treated the subject.