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Judas, Purse, St John (detail)

McCausland, Toronto

1911

Judas Iscariot, in glowing purple robes, and holding a purse containing the thirty pieces of silver he has taken to betray Jesus, sits next to St John. A third, orange-robed disciple leans between the two.

In Byzantine times, artists would portray treacherous people from the side so that art patrons would not make contact with an evil gaze. That tradition continued in Western art, as in Leonardo's universally known depiction.

 

Judas, Purse, St John (detail)