The Kiss of Judas

Josep Maria Subirachs, The Kiss of Judas, 1883. Sculpture, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.

Sagrada Família is a contemporary church project in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Although it is a work in progress—due for completion in 2026—the church is already a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gaudí's original design calls for a total of 18 spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ.

The Kiss of Judas is a sculpture on the Passion Façade. Dedicated to the Passion of Christ—the suffering of Jesus during his crucifixion—this façade was intended to portray the sins of man. A team of sculptors headed by Josep Maria Subirachs began sculpting the façade in 1987. Its rigid, angular form provokes a dramatic effect, following the designs Gaudí laid out almost 100 years earlier. Gaudí designed this façade to strike fear into the onlooker, using the effect of chiaroscuro (dark angular shadows contrasted by harsh rigid light) to emphasize the severity and brutality of Christ's sacrifice.

Josep Maria Subirachs, The Kiss of Judas, 1883.

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