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 which despite being prophesied and unavoidable
loses none of its aching significance under the guidance of Cabello’s
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 Velazquez’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. This effect of chiaroscuro, informed by
Caravaggio’s passion pictures, such as the Crowning with Thorns, serves
another function, however. 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 layered colour
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.