The Gospels don’t name her, but we know from other historical accounts that Herodias had a daughter named Salome. And history has not been particularly kind to Salome. Is that fair? Christian theologians have interpreted her as a lewd temptress (all that dancing…), conniving, cold, cruel, and feminine.
Classic Western art has used her as an excuse to sexualize and eroticize the body of an (often young) girl, dressed in revealing silks, her face flushed with her Oriental dancing. And Salome was frequently painted receiving the platter with John’s head on it – never Herod or Herodias, but young Salome – looking off into the distance, aloof or silly. Modern Western art has continued the trend – Salome the child has been transformed into the archetypal femme fatale – not merely lascivious, but a sadist and a psychopath sexually aroused by severed heads.