The Betrayal of Christ

French1240-1250 (Medieval)

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

This fragment of a large French altar frontal shows the Betrayal of Christ by Judas. In a dramatic composition with elongated figures typical of the Gothic style, Christ is kissed by Judas and thus identified for arrest by Roman soldiers. At the left of the scene, one of Christ's followers cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant, an act condemned by Christ with his outstretched hand. This gilt copper relief was once attached to a panel that also included areas of enamelwork, and was probably made in Limoges, a city renowned for enamel and other metalwork from the twelfth century through the end of the Middle Ages. This and other scenes would have formed an unusually large altar frontal, and the narrative of Christ's sacrifice would have resonated with the central Eucharistic ritual performed at the altar.

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  • Title: The Betrayal of Christ
  • Date Created: 1240-1250 (Medieval)
  • Type: antependia; plaques; retables
  • Rights: Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: gilded copper with glass
  • Provenance: Henri Daguerre, Paris; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
  • Place of Origin: Limoges, France
  • ExhibitionHistory: 4000 Years of Modern Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1953-1957; Treasures from Medieval France. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland. 1966-1967; Enamels of Limoges. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 1996; Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001; Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000
  • Artist: French