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The Betrayal of Christ

  • Object:

    Medallion

  • Place of origin:

    Netherlands (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1490-1510 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Boxwood

  • Museum number:

    A.501-1910

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This medallion depicts the Betrayal of Christ in the foreground and the Agony of Christ in the background and is a fake made by an artist in Germany or France, in ca. 1850-60.
The relief may have formed part of a rosary-bead.
The relief is rather clumsily carved and the style of the armour of the soldiers is a mixture of elements of the 15th and 16th century. Added to this is the inscription, written in semi-literate style in ink on the back: 'Secolo XVI. Estylo de Alberto Durer de Nuremberg' which erroneously suggests a connection with the famous Albrecht Dürer. In the 19th century especially, pieces of wide ranging quality were ascribed to him, and sometimes his monogram AD was inscribed on them, to make the object more attractive to collectors.

Physical description

In the foreground Judas kissing Christ, who is taken captive by a crown of soldiers. On the ground lies Malchus with St. Peter beside him sheathing his sword, and three other apostles. In the background the Agony of Christ in the garden and the apostles asleep.

Place of Origin

Netherlands (made)

Date

ca. 1490-1510 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Boxwood

Dimensions

Diameter: 5.5 cm

Object history note

Formerly from the Spitzer collection. Acquired from the Salting bequest.

Historical significance: This medallion depicts the Betrayal of Christ in the foreground and the Agony of Christ in the background. The relief is rather clumsily carved and the style of the armour of the soldiers is a mixture of elements of the 15th and 16th century. Added to this is the inscription, written in semi-literate style in ink on the back: 'Secolo XVI. Estylo de Alberto Durer de Nuremberg' which erroneously suggests a connection with the famous Albrecht Dürer. In the 19th century especially, pieces of wide ranging quality were ascribed to him, and sometimes his monogram AD was inscribed on them, to make the object more attractive to collectors.

Historical context note

It may have formed part of a rosary-bead.

Descriptive line

Medallion, boxwood, the Betrayal of Christ, a fake, made in Germany or France, in ca. 1850-60

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Salting Bequest (A. 70 to A. 1029-1910) / Murray Bequest (A. 1030 to A. 1096-1910)'. In: List of Works of Art Acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum (Department of Architecture and Sculpture). London: Printed under the Authority of his Majesty's Stationery Office, by Eyre and Spottiswoode, Limited, East Harding Street, EC, p. 81
Trusted, Marjorie, ed. The Making of Sculpture. The Materials and Techniques of European Sculpture. London: 2007, p. 175, pl. 324

Materials

Boxwood

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Apostles; Sword

Categories

Medallions; Sculpture; Christianity; Religion; Reliefs; Fakes & forgeries

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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