Revelations: Kiss of Judas

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Revelations
Kiss of Judas
Curated by Arsam Yazdani

Giotto, Kiss of Judas, 1304

It marked the beginning of the end, the betrayal of all betrayals. With a kiss, Judas single-handedly destroyed any hope of Jesus' survival or continued mission for peace. The first thing you feel as you look into the piece is the movement, the harsh emotions and though that a sense of the magnitude of the situation. The scene is chaotic, but Giotto artfully pulls all the focus to the interaction in the middle, the rest just background colors compared to Judas' bright yellow drapery.

Giotto drapes all his figures heavily, but really focuses primarily on faces. Jesus and Judas face off in the middle, their division marking the division between the sides of the piece. One side being the disciples and the other being the Roman soldiers Judas brought to take Jesus. The kiss not only signifies a physical betrayal, but also visibly shows the split, both spiritual and literal, between Jesus and the Roman Empire. Judas, his trusted friend, helps break apart Jesus' inner circle just for coin.

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