Rouen Book of Hours. The Kiss of Judas.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Like many modern artists, medieval painters were more interested in exploring the meaning of their subject than in painting naturalistic images.

In this illuminated manuscript, the prime purpose of the artwork is to decorate; its secondary purpose is to illustrate the text. In the illustration, the figures are flat, and are pictured against a generalized background. The purely decorative panel to the left is visually more important than the representation of the passage.

The passage itself is concerned with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas as Judas kisses Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The kiss of Judas in more detail.


Footnotes