Giotto di Bondone: The bargain of Judas (1304-1306)

(Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, Italy)

Today is Holy Wednesday or Spy Wednesday, the fourth day of the Holy Week. The most important event of today is that Judas Iscariot made a bargain to betray Jesus. According to the Gospels, the Sanhedrin (a council of judges which dealt with religious matters) plotted together to kill Jesus. Jesus himself was in Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper were he was anointed with precious oil by Saint Mary of Bethany. The disciples were angry because the oil could have been sold. All the disciples suggested that the money then should have been given to the poor but Judas Iscariot however wanted to keep the money for himself. Judas went to the Sanhedrin and offered to betray Jesus in exchange for money. The Sanhedrin gave Judas 30 pieces of silver. From that moment on, Judas was looking for an opportunity for him to betray Jesus. This fresco by the 13th/ 14th century Italian master Giotto di Bondone is a part of the 'life of Christ' cycle. Notice the black figure on the left - this is the devil. Fresco from 1304-1306.

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