A Portrait Series by Troy Schooneman
"The Betrayal" is series of four portraits based upon the biblical story of the betrayal of Jesus Christ by the Apostle Judas Iscariot. Despite the biblical references below, "The Betrayal" does not claim to be historically, biblically or theologically accurate in any respect. "The Betrayal" is available for purchase as a fine art limited edition print series in an exclusive print run of 8 sets only, with two sizes available - medium (18 x 20/21 inches) and large (30 x 33/35 inches). For more information about purchasing the series, please CLICK HERE or click the purchase button at the end of this page.
It is written in the Gospel of Matthew that Judas betrayed Jesus by identifying him with a kiss – "the kiss of Judas" – to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers.
Instead, "This is Jesus" depicts Judas, with a trembling hand extended, pointing at Jesus so as to identify him to the soldiers, rather than kissing him. His facial expression one of doubt and, even thought the arrest has yet to take place, we see the intense regret at his decision to betray Jesus. Click on the image above to view a larger version of "This is Jesus".
Soon after his betryal of Jesus, Judas' regret casts a shadow on his soul. He is consumed with guilt and is unable to eat or sleep. He beseeches God to forgive him, desperate to find a way to correct his foolish actions. He becomes erratic in his behavior and begins to lose hope in his salvation.
In "The Shadow of Regret" Judas, with his hand pressed against his chest, his face looking towards Heaven, begs for God's forgiveness. Click on the image above to view a larger version of "The Shadow of Regret".
In Dante's Inferno, Judas is condemned to the lowest circle of Hell: the Ninth Circle of Traitors, also known as the frozen lake, Cocytus. He is one of three sinners deemed evil enough to be doomed to an eternity of being chewed in the mouths of the triple-headed Satan (the others being Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar). Dante writes that Judas – having committed the ultimate act of treachery by betraying the Son of God Himself – is trapped in the jaws of Satan's central head, said to be the most vicious of the three, by his head, leaving his back to be raked by the fallen angel's claws.
"The Circle of Traitors" depicts Judas, at the precise moment of his condemnation, in a state of abject despair and regret over the betrayal of his Beloved Christ. Click on the image above to view a larger version of The Judas Kiss IV.
It is written that Judas was so racked with guilt and sorrow after the arrest of Jesus that he took his own life by hanging himself. Before his death, however, it is believed that Judas experienced a vision showing that his betrayal was, in fact, the catalyst for the death and ultimate resurrection of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind. Several religious scholars believe that Judas is, in fact, the most importaht Apostle - due to the fact that his betrayal ultimately led to the Crufifixion and Resurrection of Christ and, thus, to the Salvation of mankind. This, of course, is a subject of great debate between scholars and religious theologians.
"The Final Vision" shows Judas in a state of bliss, sitting silently, eyes fixed towards Heavens as he is transfixed by his vision of Salvation. Click on the image above to view a larger version of "The FInal Vision".