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Assorted Scholarship and Comments on the Crucifixion in and Around The Passion of the Christ

Giotto, Kiss of Judas
Giotto: The Kiss of Judas
thanks kirbykendrick

Judas’ robe, extended by his arm, stages Jesus’ profile.
Giotto outlines Jesus’ features with a fine line; Judas’ with a heavy line: caveman brow! How’s that for macroinformation?

Bosch, Christ Carrying the Cross (1490), oil on panel
Bosch, Christ Carrying the Cross (1490), oil on panel
thanks flickr

I have always loved paintings in which there’s a lot to see, a lot to figure: comics with a lot of detail, Pavel’s Tchelichew’s Hide & Seek … (Proof, my friend Anton pronounced, that pk had bad taste). Any Hieronymus Bosch painting is worth a lifetime of looking.

Of all the things I admired in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, what I admired most was his reprise of this image. I must say though that Scorsese was far kinder to humanity in his version than was the inimitable Bosch.

I mentioned Giotto’s contrasting outlines for Jesus’ face and Judas’: compare here Bosch’s treatment of Jesus compared to the crowd. Veronica here is portrayed as human: but, she’s turned away from Jesus!

When I first saw this painting reproduced I already knew and was reminded of George Grosz’s mid-twentieth century bestial-mechanizations of Nazi Germany. For example:

George Grosz, Engineer
thanks staticflickr

Scorsese, The Last Temptation of Christ
Scorsese, The Last Temptation of Christ
thanks benswithen

Scorsese’s depiction of the crucifixion followed careful research.

Passion group, menu


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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