William Blake

Judas Betrays Him

c.1803–5

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Medium
Ink, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 367 x 303 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with funds provided by the Patrons of British Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1992
Reference
T06606

Not on display

Display caption

This watercolour illustrates verses from
St Matthew's Gospel. Christ prays for spiritual strength and guidance in the Garden of Gethsemane, knowing that
he will soon be betrayed by one of his
own disciples. Judas arrives with 'a great multitude with swords and staves'
to arrest him. He kisses Christ as a signal that he is the one to be seized. The rest
of the disciples look on in horror.

 

This is one of more than eighty watercolours of biblical subjects which Blake made for his patron, Thomas Butts, between 1800 and 1805.

Gallery label, August 2004

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