Matthias Stom

The Arrest of Christ

c. 1630-1632
Christ and Judas are dramatically lit by the torch while the other figures emerge from the darkness only where the light catches them. This work was likely painted in Rome, where Stom was inspired by the example of Caravaggio and his followers. Christ's robes would have suggested historic costume to contemporary viewers; in contrast, the men arresting him wear something closer to modern dress. Caravaggio championed anachronism - the violation of historical accuracy - as a means of giving biblical subjects urgency by connecting them to modern life. Significantly, Stom has applied this interpretive freedom only to the secondary figures; Christ's appearance and clothing are traditional. The image is a compound of new and old - Christ's life played out in modern times. Frame: carved and gilded wood. Italy, 17th century.
Title
The Arrest of Christ
Date
c. 1630-1632
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
151.3 x 205.3 cm; 191.2 x 245.2 x 11.0 cm (framed)
Nationality
Dutch
Credit line
Purchased 1933
Accession number
4094