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The Betrayal

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Christ stands in the centre of the panel, next to Judas who embraces him. A soldier in armour grasps the right arm of Christ with his left hand while holding the handle of his sword with his right hand. On the left of the panel St Peter is shown holding a swod pointing down and in the background there are two soldiers.

The softness of alabaster makes it vulnerable to weathering as this panel demonstrates. There are no traces of paint remaining.

Physical description

Christ stands in the centre of the panel, next to Judas who embraces him; both have beards. A soldier in armour and basinet grasps the right arm of Christ with his left hand and with his right holds the handle of his sword. Behind him stand two more soldiers, one holding a torch, the other a shield which rests on the ground. On the left of the panel is St. Peter holding a sword pointing down, with a bearded figure next to him. Stretched out on a lower piece of ground is the figure of Malchus wearing a low-belted doublet. His left hand is raised; with his right he holds a staff.

The surface of the panel is badly weathered. The top left corner and the lower left edge are missing. The left leg of the soldier in the foreground is missing. There is a hole through the panel in the top centre. No paint remains on the panel. The back of the panel is scratched. There are three lead-plugged holes, one with the remains of a latten wire.

Place of Origin

England (made)


15th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved alabaster


Height: 38.6 cm, Width: 26.2 cm

Object history note

Acquired by Dr W. L. Hildburgh in Rouen. On loan from him since 1921. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.

Historical significance: Although the shield is not found in other examples, one panel of similar design is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and one was formerly in St. Marie's church, Sheffield.

Descriptive line

Alabaster panel depicting the Betrayal. English, 15th century.

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

Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 231 (cat. 158), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
Hildburgh, W.L. Notes on some English Medieval Alabaster Carvings. Antiquaries Journal. III, 1923, p. 34, pl. VII, 3.





Subjects depicted

Staff; Soldier; Torches (lighting devices); Armour; Sword; Shield; Doublet


Christianity; Religion; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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