The Betrayal of Christ

Object Details

Title:

The Betrayal of Christ

Artist/Maker(s):

Masters of Dirc van Delf (Dutch, active about 1400 - about 1410)

Culture:

Dutch

Place(s):

Utrecht (probably), Netherlands (Place created)

Date:

about 1405 - 1410

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 16.5 x 11.7 cm (6 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.)

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Within the shallow, almost claustrophobic space of this miniature, Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss, a pre-arranged signal that alerts the Roman soldiers to Jesus' identity. On the left, the apostle Peter raises his sword to cut off the Roman soldier Malchus's ear. Clad in bright green, this small figure falls awkwardly to the ground before Jesus. On the right, soldiers muscle in to arrest Jesus.

Pushing, gesturing soldiers on one side and Peter's upraised sword on the other overlap the image's frame. The artist crowded the composition in this way to heighten the scene's emotion and tension. Collapsed at the miniature's bottom edge, the figure of Malchus plays an important role, extending the pictorial space into the unpainted margin and drawing the viewer into the painting in this tiny book.

Related Works
Exhibitions
The International Style: Courtly Art Around the Year 1400 (October 24, 1994 to January 8, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995, (Cat.)
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998, (Cat.)
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001, (Cat.)
Five Hundred Years of Manuscript Illumination (February 11 to June 1, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 11 to June 1, 2003, (Cat.)
Illuminated Manuscripts from Belgium and the Netherlands (August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 24, 2010 to February 6, 2011, (Cat.)