Master SW
The Arrest of Christ

Early 1500s
Engraving on paper
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

As Jesus is led away he sees that the disciple in the right foreground with the sword has cut off the ear of the servant lying on the ground. In the gospels of John and Matthew, he tells the disciple to put his sword back in its sheath, which is pictured here. The club in the servant's hand reflects the statement in Matthew 26:47 and Mark 24:43 that the crowd came at Jesus "with swords and clubs."

With his short, square beard and bald pate, the disciple with the sword is clearly St. Peter.

Of the four evangelists only John mentions torches, identifies Peter as the one who cut off the servant's ear, and says that Jesus was "bound" by the soldiers and the Jewish guards (John 18:1-12).

Judas, whose kiss is mentioned in the three synoptic gospels, is at the right edge of the engraving, skulking away with his bag of silver.

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Read more about the arrest of Jesus.

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.