"The Taking of Christ" by Caravaggio

Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ” (1602) depicts the moment of Jesus’ arrest and Judas’ betrayal. Judas has just identified Christ with a kiss, and Caravaggio has captured the ensuing chaos. The painting pulses with motion and energy, with the guards rushing in to seize Jesus on the right, St. John the Evangelist fleeing on the far left, and Jesus just beginning to pull away from Judas in the center. The strong light-and-dark contrast intensifies the moment, lending drama distinctive of Caravaggio’s style, while the proximity of the figures to the picture plane increases the sense of urgency and immediacy. Commissioned by the Roman nobleman Ciriaco Mattei in 1602, the painting is now housed in the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland.



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