Kiss of Judas.
 Subirachs, José María, 1927-	

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Title:Kiss of Judas

"According to the Synoptic Gospels, Judas pointed out Jesus to those he led to arrest him by means of a kiss. This is the kiss of Judas, also known (especially in art) as the Betrayal of Christ.

In the Passion Façade of the Sagrada Familia Temple we find a cryptogram. It’s about one of the most popular motives of this façade, decorated by Josep M. Subirachs.

This enigmatic square of 16 numbers allows you to make more than 310 different combinations summing the numbers of four different quads, always with the same result: 33, the age of Christ the moment he died –which is the most important fact of the Passion-. Summing the numbers in columns, rows, diagonals, summing the extremes…

Gaudí was not very clear about what the sculpture covering of the Passion Façade should look like. When Subirachs accepted the assignment (1987), one of the conditions he posed is that he could apply his personal style, in order to create no confusion with the original work of Gaudí and to continue his own artistic career. Subirachs’ cryptogram is based on the cryptogram made by the German Renascent painter and geometric Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) in 1514 in the engraving “Melancolia I”. His numbers sum 34, an even number, much more difficult to obtain. You can see that, while in the cryptogram of Subirachs two numbers are repeated, the one of Dürer contains the numbers 1 until 16 without repetitions. Another curiosity: the numbers 14 and 15 in the center quads of the row below indicate the year of construction of this magic square."

[written by photographer] Sources:,

Artist:Subirachs, José María, 1927-
Building:Sagrada Familia
Object/Function:Sculpture, freestanding

Scripture:Matthew 26:14-27:66
Mark 14:1-15:47
Luke 22:14-23:56
Lectionary links:CPass
General Subject:Arrest of Jesus

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Attribution:Subirachs, José María, 1927- . Kiss of Judas, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 14, 2021]. Original source:
Record Number:54320 Last Updated: 2021-02-06 13:55:55 Record Created: 2010-03-19 12:06:49
Institution:Vanderbilt University Unit: Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition