Salome by Jean Benner
Christian traditions depict her as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, notably in regard to the dance mentioned in the New Testament, which is thought to have had an erotic element to it, and in some later transformations it has further been iconized as the Dance of the Seven Veils. Other elements of Christian tradition concentrate on her lighthearted and cold foolishness that, according to the gospels, led to John the Baptist’s death (his head on a silver platter).
A new motif was added by Oscar Wilde in his Salome, in which she plays the role of femme fatale. This last interpretation, made even more memorable by Richard Strauss’ opera based on Wilde’s work, is not consistent with Josephus’ account; according to the Romanized Jewish historian, Salome lived long enough to marry twice and raise several children. Few literary accounts elaborate the biographical data given by Josephus.