The Phoebus Foundation’s collection includes an unusual painting which has an equally unusual title: Head-Baker. A baker’s servant, frozen in motion, with his cleaver raised high in the air, is poised to decapitate the man sitting in front of him with a well-aimed swing. The mysterious title combined with the strange scene raises many questions. Was there really a baker running around decapitating his customers? Is the man administering a humiliating punishment, carrying out an early form of plastic surgery, or is something else going on?
In the Phoebus Focus series, experts and scientists discuss masterpieces from the collection of The Phoebus Foundation.