Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 1606 – 1669

Judas Returns the Silver Coins

oil on panel (79 × 102 cm) — 1629
private collection

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn biography

This work is linked to Matthew 27:3

Tags: Judas

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Feeling remorse over the betrayal he committed, Judas returns the 30 silver coins to the high priests. They are not impressed with the gesture, having achieved their purpose, Judas conscience is none of their concern. The tormented Judas hangs himself.

Rembrandt still worked in Leiden when he created this panel. The erudite Constantijn Huygens - scientist, composer, poet and art connoisseur - praised it as early as in 1630, arguing that Rembrandt had managed to precisely capture the emotional drama; the highest aim a history painter could hope to achieve.

Huygens later recommended Rembrandt to his boss, Stadtholder Frederik Hendrik, who then ordered a series of paintings from him.

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