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The Betrayal of ChristEnlarge image

The Betrayal of Christ, 1508

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471 - 1528
engraving on laid paper
11.8 x 7.5 cm
Purchased 1949
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5601)

Dürer remains unmatched in his ability to pack tense dramatic detail into a tight compact frame. Here a member of the band of armed men is about to place a rope around Christ’s neck and haul him off, but not before he kisses Judas. In the foreground, Peter raises his sword to strike off the ear of Malchus, servant of Caiaphas, the high priest who ordered Christ’s capture.

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