Barabbas or Jesus?, Les Belles Heures paintings

Painting of Pontius Pilate and the crowd

Painting of Pontius Pilate and the crowd

Pilate, in a curving hat and safely standing well above the hoi-polloi, addresses the Jewish crowd, offering in accordance with custom to release one prisoner at Passover. They ask not for Christ but Barabbas.

One dramatic man at the center, arm flung up in excitement, has his back to us, his focus entirely on Pilate.

Since the Jews could not enter Pilate’s judgment hall before the Passover for fear of ritual defilement, the governor speaks from a high exterior pulpit. To accommodate it part of the ivy border has been erased.

At the barred prison window (right) appear the two criminals who will share crucifixion with Christ.

Pontius Pilate offers the people a choice: Jesus or Barabbas. Book of Hours, Duc de Berry

Pontius Pilate offers the people a choice: Jesus or Barabbas. Book of Hours, Duc de Berry

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Paintings of the Passion of Jesus

Joseph’s story