A GAY READER'S DIGEST
The Judas Kiss is a pentaptych (a series of five portraits) created by Australian artist Troy Schooneman which is based upon the biblical story of the betrayal of Christ by the Apostle Judas Iscariot. Each of the five fine art male nude portraits in the series is shown below and is accompanied with a brief derscription of its significance in respect of the betrayal of Christ. These five portraits are available for purchase as a limited edition print pentaptych set. This set, entitled The Phoenix I through V, is available in a single size and in a strictly limited edition of 5 only. For more detailed information about this pentaptych, please click the relevant button at the bottom
The Judas Kiss I - The RewardThe Apostle Judas Iscariot, some say consumed by avarice, is said to have agreed to betray Jesus Christ for the sum of thirty silver coins. The portrait entitled The Judas Kiss I shows Judas holding out his hand in anticipation of his monetary reward. Even at this early stage of his betrayal, an air of regret about his impending actions is visible in his expression.
The Judas Kiss II - The Act of BetrayalIt is written in the Gospel of Matthew that Judas betrayed Jesus by identifying him with a kiss – "the kiss of Judas" – to arresting soldiers of the High Priest Caiaphas, who then turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate's soldiers. The portrait entitled The Judas Kiss II depicts Judas, instead of kissing Jesus, with a trembling hand extended, pointing at Jesus so as to identify him to the soldiers. The look on Judas' face in this portrait is one of doubt and, even thought the arrest has yet to take place, intense regret at his decision to betray Jesus.
The Judas Kiss III - The Anatomy of RegretNot long after his betryal of Jesus, Judas' regret casts a shadow on his soul. He is unable to eat or sleep. He beseeches God for forgiveness, desperate to find a way to correct his foolish actions. He becomes erratic in his behavior and begins to lose hope in his salvation The portrait entitled The Judas Kiss III shows Judas beseeching God for forgiveness.
The Judas Kiss IV - The Circle of TraitorsIn Dante's Inferno, Judas is condemned to the lowest circle of Hell: the Ninth Circle of Traitors, also known as the frozen lake, Cocytus. He is one of three sinners deemed evil enough to be doomed to an eternity of being chewed in the mouths of the triple-headed Satan (the others being Brutus and Cassius, the assassins of Julius Caesar). Dante writes that Judas – having committed the ultimate act of treachery by betraying the Son of God Himself – is trapped in the jaws of Satan's central head, said to be the most vicious of the three, by his head, leaving his back to be raked by the fallen angel's claws. The portrait entitled The Judas Kiss IV depicts Judas, at the precise moment of his condemnation, in a state of abject despair and regret over the betrayal of his Beloved Christ.
The Judas Kiss V - The VisionIt is written that Judas was so racked with guilt and sorrow after the arrest of Jesus that he took his own life by hanging himself. Before his death, however, it is believed that Judas perhaps experienced a vision showing that his betrayal was, in fact, the catalyst for the death and ultimate resurrection of Jesus, the Savior of Mankind. The portrait entitled The Judas Kiss V shows Judas sitting in silence, eyes to the heavens, transfixed by this vision.