There are various versions of the story of Salome (the Bible, the opera by Richard Strauss, the play by Oscar Wilde). The one that seems to conform most closely to Gerzso’s drawing of 1937 is from Salome (1896) by the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, who is characterized by some critics as “neo-Pagan.” According to Cavafy, Salome instigated the death of John the Baptist as part of a futile effort to get the interest of “a young sophist who was indifferent to the charms of love.” When Salome presents to him the Baptist’s head, the sophist rejects it, remarking in jest “Dear Salome, I would have liked better to get your own head.” Taking the jest seriously, the hopelessly infatuated Salome lets herself be beheaded and her head is duly brought to the sophist, who, however, rejects it in disgust and turns back to studying the Dialogues of Plato.
- Gift of the artist
- Collection of Gene Cady Gerzso (the artist’s wife)
- Estate of the artist
- Cleveland, Ohio, The Cleveland Museum of Art, “Twenty-second Annual Exhibition of Work by Cleveland Artists and Craftsmen,” April 30 – June 9, 1940
- Grand Rapids, Michigan, Grand Rapids Art Gallery, “First Annual American Art Exhibition” (c. 1937-40)
- Mexico City, Galería López Quiroga, Cuatro Surrealistas Latinoamericanos: Gunther Gerzso, Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Fernando Szyszlo, June 8 – July 16, 1994
- Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Risking the Abstract: Mexican Modernism and the Art of Gunther Gerzso, July 12 – Oct. 19, 2003, Pl.4, illus. p. 55
This exhibition traveled to Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno, Nov. 12, 2003 – Feb. 22, 2004, and Chicago, Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, March 19 – June 27, 2004.
- Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Drawing Surrealism, Oct. 21, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013.
This exhibition traveled to New York, Morgan Library & Museum, Jan. 25 – April 21, 2013.