Judas (1885) by Ilya Repin

Judas - Ilya Repin - 1885

Artwork Information

ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Judas

The artwork “Judas” is an evocative piece by the artist Ilya Repin, created in 1885. Representative of the Realism art movement, this religious painting delves into themes from Christian theology and portrays a significant biblical figure. As a realist work, it reflects a profound examination of human emotion and character, capturing the essence and complexity of its subject.

The painting depicts Judas Iscariot, an apostle known for betraying Jesus Christ, portrayed in the moments of reflection or turmoil following his infamous act. The composition is shrouded in darkness, with a limited source of light casting stark illumination on Judas’s face. This selective lighting accentuates his facial features and seems to symbolize the internal conflict raging within him. Judas’s eyes are deep-set and bear a haunted look, reflecting perhaps both the gravity of his actions and the burden of his guilt.

His hand, gently raised to his face, touches his lips—a gesture that may suggest contemplation, regret, or an attempt to suppress a despairing silence. The figure is dressed in a nondescript robe, eschewing elaborate detail for a focus on the solemn mood and the psychological component of the scene. The dark background ensconces Judas in shadows, possibly indicating his isolation and the darkness of his deed.

Repin’s “Judas” implores viewers to ponder the moral complexities and tragic nature of betrayal, utilizing the dramatic interplay of light and shadow, emotive portraiture, and intentional simplicity to captivate and provoke contemplation.

Other Artwork from Ilya Repin

More Realism Artwork

Scroll to Top