Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s ‘The Taking of Christ’ is a masterpiece. A work of art and available to view in Dublin’s National Gallery on a daily basis.
Today President Michael D. Higgins joined various dignitaries to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the painting’s unveiling in the National Gallery.
The Taking of Christ – which dates back to 1602 – made its debut at the Gallery on November 16th 1993.
The painting represents Jesus Christ being captured in the Garden of Gethsemane by soldiers who were led to him by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot.
Tempted by the promise of financial reward, Judas agreed to identify his master by kissing him:
“The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away safely”
President Higgins told The Irish Times, that he once spent an evening in the mid-1990s observing the painting’s beauty with members of The Rolling Stones, who he said “stayed for ages looking at it”.
Three years of meticulous research, analysis and consultation with international experts followed to authenticate the painting before it went on public display.
Festivities commemorating the 25th anniversary of the painting’s unveiling took place throughout the day at the Gallery. Two screenings of BBC investigative documentary Private Life of a Masterpiece: ‘The Taking of Christ’ by Caravaggio, were shown.
A night of 90s nostalgia, special guided tours and pop-up music performances as part of the Gallery’s ongoing “Thursday Lates” series also took place.