This painting is a copy (perhaps from the early 17th century) painted after the original with the same title from the Kroměříž Picture Gallery. The panel from Kroměříž is signed and dated 1515 on the halberd of the armour-bearer on the left; Cranach gave this armour-bearer his own likeness. The original from Kroměříž was ordered by the Olomouc Bishop Stanislav Thurzo, which is demonstrated by the placing of his coat of arms in the left corner of the picture. Due to the fact that the original composition of the Beheading of St John the Baptist was to be found in Olomouc until well into the 19th century, it can be surmised that the painter making the copy must have been active in Moravia, most probably actually in Olomouc. Although it cannot be excluded that this copy may have been made from yet another copy, the precise reproduction of the original testifies to the first possibility.