Massacre of the Innocents.

The bible in Matthew 2:16 describes a massacre of babies on order of King Herod after hearing of the birth of a new king, Jesus, in his realm. This incident, known as the massacre (or slaughter) of the innocents, exemplifying the horror of harming children with the power of the state, has inspired artists from Roman times to the twenty first century. Here are a few of their works. Clicking on the image brings a larger version.


Slaughter of the innocents
created: 432-440 restored in 1593 and the 1990s


Slaughter of the innocents
created: c500 fifth or sixth century


Massacre of the innocents
created: 980-93
for Archbishop Egbert of Trier


Massacre of the innocents
created: 1080-1120


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1125


Slaughter of the innocents
created: c1125-1150


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1150
A medieval artistic low point in drawing skill.


Slaughter of the innocents
created: 1163 or earlier, restored 1910
Photographed on site by Richard Stracke.


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1200


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1270-80
from f.15v of MS K.26, one of a sequence of 46 Biblical illustrations


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1275


Giovanni Pisano - Slaughter of the innocents
Giovanni Pisano, c1250-1314
created: 1301


Giotto di Bondone - Massacre of the innocents
Giotto di Bondone, c1267-1337
created: c1305


Giotto di Bondone - Massacre of the innocents
Giotto di Bondone, c1267-1337
created: 1306


Giovanni Pisano - Massacre of the innocents
Giovanni Pisano, c1250-1314
created: 1302-11


Duccio di Buoninsegna - Slaughter of the innocents
Duccio di Buoninsegna, c1255-1319
created: 1308-11


Massacre of the innocents
created: 1316-1321 (date of restoration)


Jean Pucelle - Massacre of the innocents
Jean Pucelle, c1300-1355
created: c1324
The depiction is similar to that of Pisano.


Pietro Lorenzetti - Slaughter of the innocents
Pietro Lorenzetti, 1280-1348
created: c1330


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1350


Giusto di Giovanni Menabuoi - Slaughter of the innocents
Giusto di Giovanni Menabuoi, c1320-1391
created: c1370


Maestro di Campli - Massacre of the innocents
Maestro di Campli
created: 1350-1400


Bartolo di Fredi - Massacre of the innocents
Bartolo di Fredi, c1330-c1409
created: c1380


Master Bertram of Minden - Massacre of the innocents
Master Bertram of Minden, c1345-1415
created: 1383


Fra Angelico - Massacre of the innocents
Fra Angelico, c1387-1455
created: 1451-53


Massacre of the innocents
created: 1450-1459
unknown Flemish artist, Bruges, 1450s


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1460


Massacre of the innocents
created: 1450-70


Sano di Pietro - Massacre of the innocents
Sano di Pietro, 1406-1481
created: c1470


Bernardino Jacopi Butinone - Massacre of the innocents
Bernardino Jacopi Butinone, c1435-1507
created: c1480 (undated)


Hugo van der Goes - Massacre of the innocents Hugo van der Goes - Massacre of the innocents
Hugo van der Goes, c1440-1482
created: c1480
Right panel of a triptych, artist uncertain


Matteo di Giovanni - Slaughter of the innocents
Matteo di Giovanni, c1430-1495
created: 1481


Matteo di Giovanni - Massacre of the innocents
Matteo di Giovanni, c1430-1495
created: 1482


Domenico Ghirlandaio - Slaughter of the innocents
Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1449-1494
created: 1486-90


Matteo di Giovanni - Massacre of the innocents
Matteo di Giovanni, c1430-1495
created: 1488


Massacre of the innocents
created: c1500


Jean Poyet - Massacre of the innocents
Jean Poyet, active 1483-1503
created: c1500


Marcantonio Raimondi - Massacre of the innocents
Marcantonio Raimondi, c1475-1534
created: c1510


Girolamo Mocetto - Massacre of the innocents Girolamo Mocetto - Massacre of the innocents
Girolamo Mocetto, c1470-1532
created: 1500-25
They are believed to be fragments from a single work


Amico Aspertini - Massacre of the innocents
Amico Aspertini
created: 1510-20


Domenico Campagnola - Massacre of the innocents
Domenico Campagnola, c1500-1564
created: 1517


Giovanni Angelo del Maino - Massacre of the innocents
Giovanni Angelo del Maino, c1475-c1525
created: c1520


Ludovico Mazzolino - Slaughter of the innocents
Ludovico Mazzolino, c1480-1528
created: c1520 undated


Ludovico Mazzolino - Massacre of the innocents
Ludovico Mazzolino, c1480-1528
created: 1510-1530


Giovanni Francesco Caroto - Massacre of the innocents
Giovanni Francesco Caroto, 1480-c1555
created: 1520-25
Christ flees with his family at the right


Everhard Rensig or Gerhard Remisch - Massacre of the innocents
Everhard Rensig or Gerhard Remisch
created: 1522-26


Pieter Coecke van Aelst - Slaughter of the innocents
Pieter Coecke van Aelst, 1502-1550
created: 1524-31


Bonifazio Veronese - Massacre of the innocents
Bonifazio Veronese, 1487-1553
created: 1533
Internet research cannot assure that this is a historic artifact.


Andreas Osiander - Massacre of the innocents
Andreas Osiander, 1498-1552
created: 1540
Mayhem in the foreground, but baby Jesus escapes in the background.


Daniele da Volterra aka Ricciarelli - Massacre of the innocents
Daniele da Volterra aka Ricciarelli, 1509-1566
created: 1555


Daniele da Volterra aka Ricciarelli - Massacre of the innocents
Daniele da Volterra aka Ricciarelli, 1509-1566
created: 1557
Life in a group home.


Pieter Bruegel - Massacre of the innocents
Pieter Bruegel, c1525-1569
created: 1565-67
Decades after its creation this work was altered changing the theme from massacre to plunder.


Covered Tankard
created: 1578
Possibly northern Bohemian. Tankard usually held beer.


Hendrik Goltzius - Massacre of the innocents
Hendrik Goltzius, 1558-1617
created: c1584
unfinished


Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto - Massacre of the innocents
Jacopo Robusti Tintoretto, 1518-1594
created: 1582-87


Lucas van Valckenborch - Massacre of the innocents
Lucas van Valckenborch, c1535-1597
created: 1586


Giacomo Paracca - Slaughter of the innocents
Giacomo Paracca
created: c1587


Cornelis Van Haarlem - Massacre of the innocents
Cornelis Van Haarlem, 1562-1638
created: 1590
Artist with a posterior fetish


Cornelis Van Haarlem - Massacre of the innocents
Cornelis Van Haarlem, 1562-1638
created: 1591


Aegidius Sadeler - Massacre of the innocents
Aegidius Sadeler, c1570-1629
created: 1580-1629


Guido Reni - Massacre of the innocents
Guido Reni, 1572-1642
created: 1611


Peter Paul Rubens - Massacre of the innocents
Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640
created: 1611-12
Mis-classified for over a century, it was rediscovered as a Rubens in 2001. In July 2002 it became the most expensive painting ever sold when Sotheby's in London auctioned it for £49.5 million.


Alessandro Turchi - Massacre of the innocents
Alessandro Turchi, 1578-1649
created: c1620


Jacques Callot - Massacre of the innocents
Jacques Callot, 1592-1635
created: 1621-25


Paul Maupin - Massacre of the innocents
Paul Maupin, 1553–1647
created: c1625


Nicholas Poussin - Massacre of the innocents Nicholas Poussin - Massacre of the innocents
Nicholas Poussin, 1594-1665
created: c1628
Social worker apprehends baby from abusive mother.


Nicholas Poussin - Massacre of the innocents
Nicholas Poussin, 1594-1665
created: 1628
Some experts dispute the attribution to Poussin.


Pietro Testa - Slaughter of the innocents
Pietro Testa, 1611-1650
created: 1630-40
A soldier stabs an innocent baby while Christ with an anachronistic cross escapes by raft.


Peter Paul Rubens - Massacre of the innocents
Peter Paul Rubens, 1577-1640
created: 1636-38
A less notorious painting by Rubens.


Pacecco de Rosa - Massacre of the innocents
Pacecco de Rosa, 1600-1664
created: 1640


Jacques Stella - Massacre of the innocents
Jacques Stella, 1596-1657
created: c1640


Sébastien Bourdon - Massacre of the innocents
Sébastien Bourdon, 1616-1671
created: 1640-45
Since the Hermitage uses low lighting, this is a retinex enhanced version.


Paulus Pontius - Massacre of the innocents
Paulus Pontius, 1603-1685
created: 1643


Valerio Castello - Massacre of the innocents
Valerio Castello, 1624-1659
created: c1653


Guillam Forchondt - Massacre of the innocents
Guillam Forchondt, 1608–1678
created: c1655 undated


Valerio Castello - Massacre of the innocents
Valerio Castello, 1624-1659
created: 1656-58


Nicolas Chevillard - Massacre of the innocents
Nicolas Chevillard, no biography
created: 1657


Sebastiano Mazzoni - Massacre of the innocents
Sebastiano Mazzoni, 1611-1678
created: c1660
From the kind of website that hawks fakes.


Charles LeBrun - Massacre of the innocents
Charles LeBrun, 1619-1690
created: c1665


Slaughter of the innocents
created: 1687


Luca Giordano - Massacre of the innocents
Luca Giordano, 1634-1705
created: c1700


Francesco Trevisani - Massacre of the innocents
Francesco Trevisani, 1656-1746
created: 1700-10


Léon Cogniet - Massacre of the innocents
Léon Cogniet, 1794-1880
created: 1824
While medieval and renaissance painters showed mayhem and murder, Cogniet shows only fear.


Francois Joseph Navez - Massacre of the innocents Francois Joseph Navez - Massacre of the innocents
Francois Joseph Navez, 1787-1869
created: 1824
The hushed baby boy is a theme of this period. Here is an enhanced version photographed by Lee Sandstead that may be its original appearance.


Gustave Doré - Massacre of the innocents
Gustave Doré, 1832-1883
created: c1860 undated
Illustration for published bible.


Angelo Visconti - Massacre of the innocents
Angelo Visconti, 1829 - 1861
created: 1860-61
training exercise for social workers


Middlestone - Massacre of the innocents
Middlestone
created: c1863
in imitation of Cogniet


Eugène Lacomblé - Massacre of the innocents
Eugène Lacomblé, 1828-1905
created: 1868


Gustave Doré - Massacre of the innocents
Gustave Doré, 1832-1883
created: 1869-72


Carl Heinrich Bloch - Slaughter of the innocents
Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1834-1890
created: 1875


James Tissot - Massacre of the innocents
James Tissot, 1836-1902
created: 1886-1894


Eric Gill - Slaughter of the innocents
Eric Gill, 1882-1940
created: 1914


Antoni Gaudí - Slaughter of the innocents
Antoni Gaudí, 1852-1926
created: c1926


Massacre of the innocents
created: 1976-1982


Paramaecium: Australian death/doom metal band - Massacre of the innocents
Paramaecium: Australian death/doom metal band, formed 1991
created: 1993 recording date
Link for music Massacre of the Innocents (ogg, 7:29)


Scream from Ramah
created: 2001 issued September 17
Mothers react to the senseless murder of their babies by King Herod's soldiers