Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief of the Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

Made in Amiens, Picardy, France
Limestone with traces of polychromy and gilding
Overall: 39 1/4 x 43 x 9 in. (99.7 x 109.2 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
Four key events in the final hours of Jesus’ life are dramatically shown here (from left to right): Peter sheathing his sword after severing the ear of Malchus (seated), the high priest’s servant; Jesus miraculously restoring the ear; Judas betraying Jesus with a kiss; and Roman soldiers arresting Jesus. The compression of these events into one scene with its complex interweaving of figural masses creates a powerful sculptural statement.

In the medieval church the choir screen separated the nave and the choir area. By the thirteenth century these barriers often were decorated with extensive narrative themes, especially the Passion, the dramatic final events in the earthly life of Jesus. Because they hindered participation in church rituals by the laity, most European churches eventually eliminated them. The choir screen at the cathedral in Amiens was destroyed in 1755. This relief is one of the largest and best preserved narrative sculptures to survive.
From Amiens Cathedral; Georges J. Demotte, Paris and New York; Henri Daguerre, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher, New York (until 1917)
"The Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, o.s., 13, no. 3 (March 1918). p. 61.

Gillerman, Dorothy. "The Arrest of Christ: A Gothic Relief in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum Journal 15 (1980). pp. 67-90, fig. 1-5.

Baron, Françoise. "Mort et résurrection du jubé de la cathédrale d'Amiens." Revue de l'Art 87 (1990). p. 38, fig. 18.

Williamson, Paul. Gothic Sculpture 1140-1300. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. p. 281, n. 112.

Little, Charles T. "Monumental Gothic Sculpture from Amiens in American Collections." In Pierre, lumière, couleur: Études d’histoire de l’art du Moyen Âge en l’honneur d’Anne Prache, edited by Fabienne Joubert, and Dany Sandron. Paris: Presses de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 1999. pp. 243-50, fig. 1, 4, 6.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, Abigail Quandt, and William D. Wixom. Das Stundenbuch der Jeanne d'Evreux / The Hours of Jeanne d'Evreux / Le Livre d'Heures de Jeanne d'Evreux: Commentary. Lucerne: Faksimile Verlage Luzern, 2000. p. 236, fig. 40.

Jung, Jacqueline E. "Beyond the Barrier: The Unifying Role of the Choir Screen in Gothic Churches." The Art Bulletin 82, no. 4 (December 2000). pp. 638-39, 654, n. 177, fig. 18.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 26, pp. 106-107.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). pp. 3, 26.

Little, Charles T., ed. Set in Stone: The Face in Medieval Sculpture. New York, New Haven, and London: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2006. p. 71, fig. 55.

Jung, Jacqueline E. "Das Programm des Westlettners." In Der Naumburger Meister: Bildhauer und Architekt im Europa der Kathedralen, edited by Hartmut Krohm, and Holger Kunde. Vol. 2. Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2011. pp. 1140-41, fig. 5.

Bouilleret, Jean-Luc, ed. Amiens. Grâce d'une cathédrale 5. Strasbourg: La Nuée Bleue, 2012. p. 220, ill. p. 223.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 191.

Jung, Jacqueline E. The Gothic Screen: Space, Sculpture, and Community in the Cathedrals of France and Germany, ca. 1200-1400. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. pp. 11, 16, 160-61, fig. 149.

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