The Arrest of Christ

Niccolò Giolfino Italian

Not on view

Niccolò Giolfino, a leading artist in the north Italian city of Verona in the 1540s, drew this scene in preparation for his oil painting "The Arrest of Christ" completed in 1546 for the Avanzi Chapel in the church of San Bernardino, Verona. The tumultuous scene depicts the moment following Judas's betrayal with a kiss that identified Christ to the Roman soldiers. Now, barely able to reach his forehead, the bearded Judas is pushed aside by the helmeted soldier who moves Christ toward the waiting rope. As if oblivious to his own capture, Christ turns his attention to Saint Peter, who has struck off the ear of the high priest's slave Malchus. Succinct strokes of white gouache forming Christ's downturned mouth convey his disappointment at Peter's anger. Here and in the other foreground figures, fine lines made with the point of the brush clearly and carefully describe the forms; in the background, by contrast, the landscape is more loosely defined in broad, rapid strokes.

The Arrest of Christ, Niccolò Giolfino (Italian, Verona 1476–1555 Verona), Brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, over traces of black chalk, on greenish paper

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