Friday, May 6, 2011

"Kiss of Judas" by Giotto

This fresco painted by Giotto around 1304 ("Giotto: Judas Kiss") is a very famous bible story that is about the betrayal of Jesus Christ by his disciple Judas. This painting tells the story about how on the night of the last supper Jesus told his disciples that one of them would betray him. Judas then went out to find the temple officers and Pharisees to let them know where Jesus would be going. Judas then told them that he pointed out Jesus by kissing him ("The Last Supper").
Stylistically, this painting shows betrayal because the focus of the painting is  Judas's kiss; also the turmoil that is surrounded by this kiss shows the internal turmoil that betrayal can cause someone. This painting shows a more violent approach to betrayal due to the images of clubs, fire, and other weapons. The mob scene creates more violent movement with people shoving and others being restrained as seen with the two figures in the far left. 
Thematically, this fresco shows betrayal to a friend and the violent internal and external turmoil that it may cause. Jesus was Judas's teacher and friend and his betrayal helped aid the capture and then following death of Jesus. Similar to Munch's painting this also shows a biblical reference. 

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