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The betrayal of Christ. From Der schatzbehalter oder schrein der wahren reichthumer des heils und der ewigen seligkeit (Treasury or shrines of true riches of salvation and everlasting blessedness).
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The betrayal of Christ. From Der schatzbehalter oder schrein der wahren reichthumer des heils und der ewigen seligkeit (Treasury or shrines of true riches of salvation and everlasting blessedness)., result 1 of 1

Item Details
Open Artstor
Available to everyone
Culture
German
Title
The betrayal of Christ. From Der schatzbehalter oder schrein der wahren reichthumer des heils und der ewigen seligkeit (Treasury or shrines of true riches of salvation and everlasting blessedness).
Work Type
prints, woodcuts, works on paper
Date
1491
Material
woodcut
Measurements
Image: 178mm (width), 253mm (height), Support: 216mm (width), 319mm (height)
Description

Michael Wolgemut (1434-1519) was a German painter and printmaker, who was born and ran a workshop in Nuremberg, where he taught Albrecht Dürer.Wolgemut trained with his father Valentin Wolgemut and may have been an assistant to Hans Pleydenwurff in Nuremberg. He worked with Gabriel Malesskircher in Munich early in 1471, leaving the city after unsuccessfully suing Malesskircher's daughter for breach of contract, claiming she had broken off their engagement. He then returned to his late father's workshop in Nuremberg, which his mother had maintained since Valentin's death.

In 1472 he married Pleydenwurff's widow and took over his workshop; her son Wilhelm Pleydenwurff worked as Wolgemut's assistant, and from 1491 his partner. The importance of Wolgemut as an artist rests not only on his own individual works, but also on the fact that he was the head of a large workshop, in which many different branches of the fine arts were carried on by a great number of pupil-assistants, including Dürer, who completed an apprenticeship with him between 1486-9. In his atelier large altar-pieces and other sacred paintings were executed, and also elaborate carved painted wood retables, consisting of crowded subjects in high relief, richly decorated with gold and colour.

Wolgemut was a leader among the artists reviving the standards of German woodcut at this time. The production of woodcuts was a large part of the work of the workshop, the blocks being cut from Wolgemut's designs. They were mostly made to supply the many publishers in Nuremberg with book illustrations, with the most attractive also being sold separately. Wolgemut's woodcuts followed the advances in engraving, depicting volume and shading with greater sophistication. Many are remarkable for their vigour and clever adaptation to the special requirements of the woodcut technique. They were often hand-coloured before or after sale. His pupil Dürer was to build on and to so surpass his achievement that Wolgemut is often unfairly overlooked.

Two large and copiously illustrated books have woodcuts supplied by Wolgemut and his stepson Wilhelm Pleydenwurff; both were printed and published by Germany's largest publisher, the famous Nuremberger Anton Koberger, who was also Dürer's godfather. The first is the Schatzbehalter der wahren Reichthumer des Heils (Treasury or shines of true riches of salvation and everlasting blessedness), published in 1491, from which this woodcut comes; the other is the Historia mundi, by Schedel (1493), usually known as the Nuremberg Chronicle, which is highly valued, not for the text, but for its remarkable collection of 1,809 spirited illustrations.

The Betrayal of Christ is the 57th of 96 illustrations in the Treasury by Wolgemut and Pleydenwurff. Although this woodcut shows the medium in its relative infancy with its largely absent perspective, relatively primitive and crowded composition and still very Gothic figures, the theme of Christ's betrayal is nonetheless clearly discernible. There is a large group of figures, including soldiers on the right; and we immediately notice Judas kissing Christ's cheek in the centre of the composition. One of the apostles, on the left, is reaching to either sheath or unsheath his sword, probably the former, as a tiny man is already sprawled on the ground with blood coming from his head.

Dr Mark Stocker Curator, Historical International Art March 2017

Repository
Collection: Art
Purchased 1971 with Harold Beauchamp Collection funds
Accession Number
Source
Image and original data provided by Museum of New Zealand - Te Papa Tongarewa
License
Use of this image is in accordance with the applicable Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name
TePapa_L01_MA_I123092_TePapa_The-betrayal-of-Christ_full.jpg
SSID
27020038

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