Barabbas or Jesus?, Les Belles Heures paintings
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Painting of Pontius Pilate and the crowd

Pilate offers a choice between Barabbas and Jesus of Nazareth, Book of Hours, Duc de Berry

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.

Pontius Pilate offers the people a choice: Jesus or Barabbas. Book of Hours, Duc de BerryOne dramatic man at the center, arm flung up in excitement, has his back to us, his focus entirely on Pilate (click on the image at right to see the full page as it appears in the Duc de Berry's Book of Hours).

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.






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Bible Study Guide: Paintings of  Pontius Pilate offering the crowd either Jesus or Barabbas, Les Belles Heures, Duc du Barry

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