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Title Christ before Caiaphas
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Bramer, Leonard (Dutch painter and printmaker, 1596-1674)
Date Earliest about 1640
Date Latest about 1645
Description Bramer lived in Delft and, like his contemporaries in Utrecht, experimented with dramatic contrasts of light and shadow. Though ten years his senior, Bramer was influenced by Rembrandt.

This work shows Christ brought before the High Priest, Caiaphas who asks him whether he truly is the Son of God. Christ's affirmation constituted blasphemy in Jewish law and was punishable by death. The scene is darkly threatening, showing a confusing space lit by a candle to the left which illuminates 'exotic' details such as the rich costume of the High Priest. Christ's humble posture and plain, white robe, illuminated against the darkness, are contrasted with the interrogative gesture of Caiaphas and the sinister scribe who records his answers.

Current Accession Number 1960P28
Former Accession Number P.2860
Subject religion (Christ before Caiaphas)
Measurements 71.1 x 100.3 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased with the aid of the Public Picture Gallery Fund 1960.
Provenance Julius Weitzner.
Principal Exhibitions Primitives to Picasso, Royal Academy of Arts, 1962, cat. no. 99; Images of a Golden Age, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 1989, cat. no. 80.
Publications Images of a Golden Age, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 1989, pp. 105-106; Ten Brink Goldsmith, J. et al, Leonaert Bramer (1596 - 1674). Ingenious Painter and Draughtsman in Rome and Delft, 1994, pp. 148-9, no. S130.1; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 15, ill.
Notes H. Wichmann (1923) notes three other versions by Bramer (nos. 130, 131, 132). 130 is on panel and is signed and dated 1643 (Augsburg Gemaldegalerie). This work is given the number S130.1 in Wichmann's Summary Catalogue of the Paintings with Supplement, included in Ten Brink Goldsmith (1994).
Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth

 

 

 

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