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Cinema & the Arts as Sermons - Great Art Explained: Caravaggio's Taking of Christ

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Great Art Explained: Caravaggio's Taking of Christ

"I started "Great Art Explained" during lockdown. My aim is to make videos which focus on one great artwork. I want to present art in a jargon free, entertaining, clear and concise way with no gimmicks.

The Taking of Christ is a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The subject is the moment that the son of God is betrayed with a kiss, and arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. Caravaggio’s approach to religious art was shocking and controversial in his time, his work was censored, dismissed and criticised, but it would lead to an entirely new kind of Christian art. The intensity of his paintings was matched only by his tempestuous lifestyle. The same year he painted this picture, Caravaggio was imprisoned for libel. A year later he was arrested for throwing a plate of hot artichokes at a waiter, a year after that, he wounded an official, and then finally, in 1606 he killed a man… and would spend the rest of his life on the run. More than any other painter in history, Caravaggio understood what it was like to be pursued by the authorities. " from video introduction.

John 18:1-18 When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?”

5 They answered Him, “Jesus [a]of Nazareth.”

Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6 Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

7 Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?”

And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

8 Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9 that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

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