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The Betrayal

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    15th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA

  • Museum number:

    A.34-1950

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This alabaster panel represents the Betrayal and is made in 15th century England.
Christ is standing in the centre of the panel, wearing a robe and cloak draped from his right. Judas stands next to him and embraces him, with his left holding Christ's shoulder. A soldier grasps Christ's cloak and holds the handle of his sword, which rests in the scabbard. Three other soldiers and a civilian surround them. St. Peter stands on Christ's right, looking up at him, holding his sword which rests in his scabbard. With his right hand, Christ bestows his healing on Malchus. Malchus is shown on his hands and knees with his head twisted round in a most unnatural, if not impossible, position.
The gesture of Christ's hand towards the twisted figure of Malchus is common in English medieval alabasters. It no doubt refers to Christ's healing of Malchus's ear, although in the Gospel he is described touching it.

Physical description

Christ is represented with a forked beard, standing in the centre of the panel, wearing a robe and cloak draped from his right. The bearded Judas stands next to him and embraces him, with his left hand holding Christ's shoulder. A soldier wearing armour, grasps Christ's cloak with his left hand and with his right holds the handle of his sword, which rests in the scabbard. Three other soldiers, two holding spears and one a battle-axe, and a civilian wearing a rolled-brim hat and holding a lantern, surround them. St. Peter, tonsured and bearded and wearing gown and cloak, stands on Christ's right, looking up at him, holding his sword which rests in his scabbard. With his right hand, Christ bestows his healing on Malchus, who looks upwards. Malchus is shown on his hands and knees with his head twisted round in a most unnatural, if not impossible, position. He wears a low-belted doublet and a rolled-brim hat, and holds a staff in his left hand. On the right of the panel is a similar figure, kneeling and looking up, his right hand raised.

The bottom right corner of the panel is missing. The surface of the panel is white and smooth and appears to have been cleaned. Only traces of paint remain, including some dark colouring on the faces of the high priest's men. Green paint and the usual daisy pattern remain on the ground at the bottom of the panel. There are traces of red and gilding on the robes of the figures. There are five holes drilled in the back of the panel. The bottom has been cut away.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

15th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Carved, painted and gilt alabaster

Dimensions

Height: 42.3 cm, Width: 27.8 cm

Object history note

Previously at Naworth Castle, Cumbria, where it was fixed with other alabasters to the walls of the chapel. On loan to the Museum from Dr Hildburgh since 1947. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1950.

Descriptive line

Panel, alabaster, 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. 225 (cat. 152), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0

Materials

Alabaster; Paint; Gold

Techniques

Carving; Painting; Gilding

Subjects depicted

Armour; Scabbard; Sword; Lantern; Spear; Battle-axe; Soldier; Cloak; Doublet; Hat; Robe

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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