Medallion with the Betrayal of Jesus, Boxwood, Netherlandish

Medallion with the Betrayal of Jesus

early 16th century
Diam. 2 × 1/16 in. (5.1 × 0.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
This medallion serves as a reminder that one of the most important skills of miniature boxwood carvers was their ability to create deep, stagelike spaces for the reenactment of the drama of the Bible. In this carving, the action is intense, but the faces are summarily rendered in some areas. Were elements such as these perhaps consigned to apprentices?
Inscription: per pacem c[h]riste tr[a]hit hiis te proditor iste
(Through [the kiss of] peace, O Christ, the traitor drags you over to them [from the Biblia pauperum]).
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(until d. 1904); [ Jacques Seligmann, Paris and New York (sold 1906)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1906–1917)
Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 94, p. 41, pl. LXII.

Williamson, George Charles. Catalogue of the Collections of Jewels and Precious Works of Art: The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan. Deluxe ed. London: Chiswick Press, 1910. no. 41, p. 65, pl. XXIV, color pl. 17.

Dingelstedt, Kurt. "Betnuß." Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte 2 (1948). pp. 377–78.

The Life of Christ: A Loan Exhibition of Works of Art Illustrating Episodes in the Life of Christ. Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1948. no. 190, p. 33.

Romanelli, Susan J. "South Netherlandish Boxwood Devotional Sculpture 1475–1530." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1992. no. 20, pp. 262–65, 42–43, 57, 62, 140, fig. 31–34.

Scholten, Frits, ed. Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. no. 27, pp. 216, 614.

Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Alexandra Suda. "Handpicked: Collecting Boxwood Carvings from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries." In Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries, edited by Frits Scholten. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. p. 381.