Franz von Bayros


Sisters of Salome

mixed media on paper,

before 1920


Franz von Bayros (Zagreb 1866-1924 Vienna)


"Schwestern der Salome" ["Sisters of Salome"]


probably before 1920

mixed media (chalk, watercolor, charcoal, and pencil) on lightly structured firm wove paper

74,2 x 97,3 cm

lower right signed in pencil "bayros"

The scandalous Austrian artist Franz von Bayros was known for his erotic illustrations.  His contemporary, the writer Rudolf Hans Bartsch, regarded this drawing, "Sisters of Salome," as perhaps von Bayros's most remarkable work ("es ist vielleicht das Heißeste"), a "phantasm" of tension "between holiness and perversion."  Other commentators have noted that this drawing shows wonderfully Bayros's "sensitive talent for line" and have observed that:

"It is by no means just a preliminary sketch, but in its large-scale, splendid format and the perfectly elaborate execution in various techniques, it claims to be an independent work of art: the main motif is the round dance of the four naked girl figures, the Salomé sisters. It is characterized by elegantly curved lines that create graceful poses of an ecstatic dance. The princess sits on the throne in the background while the dancers celebrate the cruelty of the deed in dark sensuality. The head of John the Baptist on the tray that the sisters carry is barely visible.  From the throne to the front hall, a sea of rose petals adorns the steps of the stairs and symbolizes the blood of the deed. Bayros thus manages to combine pain, cruelty, beauty and eroticism in this drawing...." B

Together with five other drawings on the subject of Salome, this drawing was published, circa 1920, as a heliogravure in the portfolio entitled Bayros Mappe.  The Daulton collection also owns a copy of this portfolio:



Choisi Le Conin, after Franz von Bayros 
"Schwestern der Salome" ["Sisters of Salome"]
Bayros Mappe, 2nd ed. (with forward by Rudolf Hans Bartsch)
Vienna/Prague/Leipzig: Verlag Ed. Strache, 1920
Sheet 41
The Daulton Collection




Jack Daulton

The Daulton Collection

Los Altos Hills, California