Sculpture: The Betrayal And Arrest Of Christ

971 words - 4 pages

This is an extremely high relief sculpture made of limestone. It is to be viewed from a frontal standpoint. It however does have a potential for movement. There seems to be a great deal going on in such a close space. It is very crowded, but dramatic. The figures are intertwining with each other all at once even though there are different things happening. It reminds me of a play with scenes. You can actually step in to it and feel as though you are a part of what is happening because of all the different directions each individual is facing.

If you look closely, you can see the scrapings of lines made from the tool used to sculpt the stone. In addition, if you look close, you can see that at one time this sculpture was completely covered vibrant colors. At first, I was not aware of what polychrome or gilding was, but apparently, it is in reference to the color or painting of a piece and the technique used. I only realized this while looking under the soldier's clothing. This tells me that the soldiers were dressed in blue uniforms. The reason for the loss of color of the sculpture is unknown to me, but I could figure that since it was created in the thirteenth century, that time has taken its toll, or maybe at one point someone had stripped it of its color.

This sculpture is quite spectacular. According to the display plaque, the sculpture shows four events happening all at once. On the far left is St. Peter who has just cut off the ear of Malchus (the servant of the high priest and seated in front of St. Peter) is "sheathing" his sword. He seems to be very content with what he has just done, but then if you look closely at the right side of Malchus' head, you can see a hand holding his ear. That seems to be Christ's hand replacing his ear. As the story goes, this was the last miracle that Christ had completed. It seems to me that Christ had compassion for Malchus, and I think Christ might have said this, "Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you." Christ was not concerned with an eye for an eye. His motto was to forgive those who harm you, and this scene displays that compassion.

Malchus' position seems a bit uncomfortable. He sits in a right profile position, but his upper body and face are facing forward. His right leg crosses over his left leg and he has sort of a stunned look on his face. Possibly, because his ear has just been cut off and Christ replacing it is surprising to him.

In the very center is the kiss of Judas. Judas has his back facing the viewer with his...

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