SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS -The Betrayal of Christ –  Anthony Van Dyck, 1620, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The painting illustrates the betrayal of Christ amidst the darkness of Gethsemane. Christ is depicted off-center, yet we are drawn to His stillness in the thick of a frenzied crowd. The red mantle is a sign of His bloody passion. Notice Judas as he approaches his Master and gingerly leans forward to deliver the historic kiss.The gnarled tree reminds us of Judas’s forfeited soul and imminent suicide. The mob around them is closing in with spears and lanterns. The guards are impatient to arrestChrist. Two raised hands hold a rope right above Christ’s head. The moment is tense. In the right foreground of the painting, we see Peter cutting off Malchus’s ear. As the official shrieks in pain – his gleaming eyes gaze at Christ. Christ sees, heals, and restores him. The stench of betrayal is replaced with the fragrance of love.

Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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