Christ Before King Herod

Christ Before King Herod (scene 14, Stories of the Passion, Maestà), 13081311. Tempera on wood, 50 x 57 cm. Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

The Maestà is a huge piece, about seven by thirteen feet. It was visible from both sides and was originally the retable of the high altar of Siena Cathedral. A retable is a painting or other image above and behind an altar. The front of the Maestà is the Madonna enthroned with saints and angels. The back is the Passion cycle of Christ divided into twenty-six scenes. This section is from the narrative scenes from the Passion: Christ Before King Herod. In the previous scene we see Christ with Pilate. The Roman governor, on learning that Jesus belonged to the jurisdiction of Herod, sent the prisoner to the king to be judged by him. After questioning and ridiculing Jesus, Herod sent him back to Pilate dressed in a conspicuous garment, the white robe that distinguished lunatics.


A written, spoken, or recorded story.

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