Leaf from a Book of Hours: The Betrayal of Christ

Leaf from a Book of Hours: The Betrayal of Christ

c. 1470-1485

circle of Maître François


Ink, tempera and gold on vellum

Leaf: 12.4 x 9.3 cm (4 7/8 x 3 11/16 in.)

The Jeanne Miles Blackburn Collection 2005.208



This scene is described in all four Gospels. It depicts the solemn moment of Christ's arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, when he is betrayed by the kiss of his apostle Judas. Following medieval artistic convention, Judas is usually depicted shorter than Christ. At the right, Simon Peter may be seen sheathing his sword while Christ heals the servant whose ear Peter cut off. The style and palette of this leaf invite comparison with Maître François, whose considerable commercial success encouraged many illuminators to imitate his forms and compositions. A relationship with Jean Fouquet and the school of Tours has been suggested.

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