Trombonist in 16C Feast of Herod Painting

The feast of Herod, featuring the beheading of John the Baptist, is a relatively popular subject in religious art, including a sculpture by Donatello and a painting by Rubens, among others. The depictions can get fairly gory! The example below, which features John the Baptist on the bottom-left, includes a trombone player, apparently serving as one of Herod’s court musicians. I recently found a color version of the image and updated the caption with museum information. You can view the picture in historical context in the 16th century of the Trombone History Timeline.


c. 1580—Innsbruck, Austria: An anonymous painting etitled Gastmahl des Herodes depicts a trio of instrumentalists that includes trombone, performing under a porchlike structure in the background (see detail and full image below; public domain) (Salmen, Bilder 36; Innsbruck, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum). The painting is probably a copy of an image from 1516 (thus the date on the lower-middle of the painting itself).bilder 36 color dtlbilder 36 color