"Kiss of Judas" 1300 AD
Giotto, Fresco (detail)

The Kiss of Betrayal

This magnificent fresco painted by Giotto over 700 years ago in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy, is today as compelling and vibrant as it was in 1300 AD.  “The Genius of the Renaissance”, Giotto was the first who broke with the accepted practice that put every subject on the same plane as if they had been pasted on having neither depth nor perspective.  Instead of stiff, unemotional faces and bodies, he gave his subjects an earthly, full-blooded life force.

It is an awesome affair to “experience” a piece of art.  Look closely at the Giotto image.  The center of the fresco is that eternal moment between Christ and Judas.  There is a stillness and quiet around the two figures as the mob tumultuously rages around them.  Giotto portrays Judas thick browed, eyes deep set and dark, almost Neolithic.  He comes as Christ’s betrayer in blind rashness and ignorance of the part he plays in the drama.

Christ’s face is alive: living, breathing, grieving, hurting.  Yet we see Christ’s forgiveness and sorrow for Judas and the enormity of his deed…the Judas kiss, the kiss of betrayal.


"Maternal Kiss" 1897
Cassatt, Pastel on paper

"Baby's First Caress" 1890
Cassatt, Pastel on paper

The Maternal Kiss

Whoa! This is not just another sentimental, sugar sweet painting of mother and child! Ponder these paintings for a moment:  Mother and child share a deep and common love. There is a passion there, a bliss, an ecstasy. The mother and child are physically and intensely wrapped up in each other-almost like the feeling of being “in love.”

It was astonishing that Mary Cassatt (1849-1926), could capture these images as she herself eschewed marriage and a family of her own.

Cassatt was born to a well to do family in Philadelphia and brought up to have a traditional life as a wife and mother…but then she went to Paris to study art!  Remaining in France most of her life, Cassatt became famous for portraying the maternal bond and the tender maternal kiss.


"Dracula" 1931

Horrifying Kiss

There really was a Dracula!  And he really was from Transylvania!  And he really was bloodthirsty and he really was cruel!  But vampire, he was not.

Bram Stoker, Irish author, was inspired by the legend of Prince Dracula from the dark forested mountains of Eastern Europe to write his Gothic tale in 1897.

Watch this short 1931 video to see film’s most horrifying kiss! …Dracula.
Click here if unable to view the video.

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