Judas, Judas Iscariot what do we know about him.  Very little.  He was one of the 12 Apostles chosen by Jesus.  Where did he come from.  It is believed that he came from Iscariot, Judea.  But we are not sure.  Where did he go after the crucifixion.  Nobody knows.  There was a known man named Simon from Iscariot and Judas was believed to be his son.  But we are not sure.  The other 11 Apostles were all from Galilee, they were Galileans.  They were known in their communities.  Judas was an unknown factor.  Yet he held the money purse for the apostles!

All of the information we have about the apostles is derived from the  gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. These were written 50 plus years after the events.

In the Garden of  Gethsemane where the kiss of Judas took place, we are given some quotes found in the gospels.

According to Mark, Judas said “Hail Rabbi” just before the infamous kiss.

It seems to me that the soldiers were unsure just which one  was Jesus hence the salutation of “Hail Rabbi” and then a kiss.

According to Matthew, after the kiss, Jesus  said “Friend, whereto art thou come”  This quote seems to ask, friend, where did you come from?

The more  one reads, the more complicated it gets. I have read enough and have formed an opinion on Judas.

My Opinion:

Judas was an opportunist  who drifted into the city.  There he meet up with the apostles, established a relationship, became part of the group (apostles) and a follower of Jesus.  Passover holiday came, Jesus disrupted the moneychangers in the temple.  A reward  was quickly offered for the whereabouts of Jesus.  Judas made a deal, he would give up Jesus after their dinner.  Plans were laid.  Soldiers staked out the Garden of Gethsemane.  There Judas betrayed Jesus.  Jesus was quickly shuffled back and forth between courts.   It is not clear just whom sentenced Jesus to crucifixion. It is not clear just what crime he had even committed, certainly nothing   that warranted execution.  However, a terrifying example was needed to keep the crowd under control.  Jesus was quickly crucified on Calvary.

Judas did not anticipate such a punishment.  This frightened him and he kept out of sight.  He stayed out of sight until both the crucifixion and Passover were over.  Huge  crowds were now leaving the city and Judas mingled with them.  Therein he blended, he had a little money, adopted another name, moved to another city  and looked for another scam.

Was this the start of identify theft?


So in painting the profile of Judas this is what Leonardo was up against.  This was the personality he had to paint.  What were the facial features of such an evil person.  Judas’ profile must display a composite of all evil things that Leonardo could conjure.  Judas’ was now the twelfth profile painted.

After painting Judas, Leonardo was given a respite, his last profile to paint was that of Jesus.


Under close magnification we can see that Thomas Eakins, aside from duplicating Leonardo’s Judas, he rotated the head a couple degrees to the right, bringing Judas’ right eye a little more into focus.  In doing so he exposed more of Judas’ beaked nose.  And I think that exposing the beak was Eakins’ intent.  It seems that this move added a little more to Judas’ untrustworthiness.  Eakins did a great job.

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