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The Betrayal (1922-23)

Description:

Spencer’s work embraced religious and figure studies, landscapes and portraits. Born at Cookham, Berkshire, he trained at the Slade School, London from 1908-12. The Betrayal is set at the rear of the Spencer family home in Cookham; Stanley and his brother Gilbert are shown watching the event from the wall to the right. The subject is the betrayal of Christ and at the moment depicted Peter has raised his sword to cut off Malchus’s ear (centre) but Jesus (the bulky figure by the gate) restrains him. The figures in the lower left foreground are the chief priests and Pharisees mentioned in St.John’s gospel. The betrayal, arrest and captivity of Christ is part of the Passion cycle of events leading up to, and following the crucifixion. The subject has been popular in art since early Christian times.