Old Holland Oil on Belgian Linen
© 2007 Miriam Cabello
In perhaps the most intimate Station of the series, Cabello creates a scene of profound submission, anguish and latent remorse. As an audience we are closer to the figures than at any other time during the Passion, bearing witness to a moment that despite being prophesied and unavoidable loses none of its aching significance under the guidance of Cabello's brush.
Judas embodies the trainer in the boxing allegory, whispering furtively what is required of the boxer in the coming match. The outcome is already decided, the boxer will take a fall in the twelfth round. The narrative elements effectively convey the sense of pre-determination surrounding the impending crucifixion of Christ.
The Betrayal highlights an interplay of opposites; the figures echo the young Dutch noble wearing a white tunic in Velasquez's The Surrender of Breda, but are lit from a source above and to the right, throwing shadows between the two figures, giving dramatic intensity and highlighting a sense of the gulf between them. However, this effect of chiaroscuro—informed by Caravaggio's passion pictures, such as the Crowning with Thorns—serves another function. It is the link between the representational forms of the boxer and trainer and the abstract expressionist background against which they are depicted.
This luminous surface is created through the application of glazing transparent colours and employs multi-directionally dripped paint to create a sense of pure form combined with an exploration of the effects of colour on the eye.