DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
(b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena)

Christ Before Caiaphas (scene 10)

Tempera on wood, 46 x 54 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

The picture shows one of the 26 narrative scenes from the Stories of the Passion on the reverse side of the Maestà. It is situated in the bottom row on the right side below the scene of Christ Mocked.

According to the Gospel of St. Matthew, the compartment should be read from the bottom upwards. The scenes Christ before Caiaphas and Christ Mocked take place in the same surroundings, the lawcourt of the Sanhedrin, where Christ is brought before the High Priest Caiaphas and the Elders.

In Christ Before Caiaphas, great importance is given to the person with raised hand and pointing finger looking significantly at the onlooker; the affronted gesture, isolated among a crowd of helmets and anonymous faces, catches the attention of the viewer. Caiaphas too is depicted in an attitude of wrath and indignation at the words of Jesus: with his hands on his breast he tears his red robes, showing the tunic underneath (this detail is told by Matthew and Mark).

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