After the deaths of fellow Flemish painters Peter Paul Rubens in 1640 and Anthony van Dyck in 1641, Jordaens became the leading painter in his native Antwerp. In the seventeenth century, Antwerp underwent a Catholic Restoration, leading to numerous commissions for religious paintings. Jordaens's large work depicts the moment, set in the Garden of Gethsemane, in which Judas betrays Christ with a kiss, leading to the arrest of Jesus by Roman soldiers. The tense moment of betrayal is compounded by the violent reaction of apostle Peter in the foreground, who attacks Malchus, the servant of the High Priest who led the arrest. The lighting heightens the drama of the Passion of Christ, as the lanterns of the soldiers powerfully illuminate the night scene. Night scenes, also called nocturnes, are trademarks of the Northern painting tradition since the fifteenth century and demonstrate its continuing impact into the 1600s.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: The Betrayal of Christ
  • Creator: Jacob Jordaens (Flemish, 1593-1678)
  • Date Created: late 1650s
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 249 x 271.5 x 8 cm (98 1/16 x 106 7/8 x 3 1/8 in.); Unframed: 225.5 x 246.3 cm (88 3/4 x 96 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Juergen Ovens, , upon his death, held in trust by the estate, 1691;, Estate of Juergen Ovens, 1691;, Possibly Count Otto Thott (GaunØ Castle, Denmark), (died 1785), by inheritance to Holger Reedtz, grandson of Otto Thott's maternal uncle, who took the name Reedtz-Thott in honor of his benefactor, Count Otto Thott, who had no male heirs;, Holger Reedtz-Thott (died 1797), by inheritance to Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott;, Otto Reedtz-Thott (doed 1862), by inheritance to Baron Kjeld Thor Tage Otto Reedtz-Thott;, Baron Kjeld Thor Tage Otto Reedtz-Thott (died 1923), by inheritance to Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott;, Baron Otto Reedtz-Thott (died 1927), by inheritance to Baron Axel Reedtz-Thott;, Baron Axel Reedtz-Thott (GaunØ Castle, Denmark) (sold, Sotheby's, London, July 10, 1968, no. 78); Agnew & Sons, London;, Pinakos, Inc., New York, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, 1970.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1970.32
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Flanders, 17th century
  • Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
  • Collection: P - Netherlandish-Flemish
  • Accession Number: 1970.32

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps