Lucas Cranach sr. (1472 Kronach – 1553 Weimar)
The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, 1515
tempera and oil on linden wood; 84×58 cm, acquired 1515, Olomouc Archbishopric – Archdiocesan Museum in Kroměříž, KE 2367, O 267
The donor of the altar retable, a part of which is from another scene in the Martyrdom of St. Catherine, was Olomouc bishop Stanislav Thurzo de Béthlenfalva (* around 1470, episcopacy 1497–1540). The author of the painting was one of the most prominent court artists of his time, Lucas Cranach sr., who worked for the Saxon Electors of the house of Wettin. The painter probably put his own face on a squire at the bottom left of the scene and he looks out of the picture, in the observers’ direction.