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Pilate Disavows Responsibility

Pilate Disavows Responsibility Famous Historical Events Trials World History Visual Arts

Mattia Preti (1613-1699)—also referred to as “Il Cavalier Calabrese”—created this painting in 1663.  It depicts Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea, washing his hands of responsibility for the death of Jesus.

This oil-on-canvas, which is entitled “Pilate Washing His Hands,” measures 206.1 x 184.8 cm (81 1/8 x 72 3/4 inches).  It is now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The Met’s curators tell us more about this work:

The painting illustrates the episode in the Gospel of Matthew, in which Pontius Pilate, after having tried to save Christ from death, washed his hands and declared "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person."

The canvas is mentioned in two letters addressed by Preti to the Sicilian collector Antonio Ruffo in 1663. It was not purchased by Ruffo - who owned Rembrandt’s Aristotle with a Bust of Homer - but may have been in the collection of the Rospigliosi family in Rome.

Preti moved to Malta in 1661 and the picture dates from his stay on the island.

Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 09, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Dec 10, 2016


Media Credits

Image described above, online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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"Pilate Disavows Responsibility" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 09, 2016. Sep 23, 2018.
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