• S
  • Giovanni Serodine
The Tribute Money

Reference URL

The Tribute Money about 1620 - 1630

On Display Scottish National Gallery

The Pharisees tried to trick Christ into denouncing Rome by asking him if it was ethical to pay tribute (tax) to Caesar. On seeing their coin bearing Caesar’s head and realising their wicked plan Christ replied, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s’. Here Christ’s hand is thrust heavenwards, directing the scheming men towards the righteous path. The close grouping of figures and lack of idealisation are typical of Serodine’s work. This painting, commissioned in 1625 by Asdrubale Mattei, has a pendant depicting Saints Peter and Paul (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome).

Glossary Open


When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.


The representation of something as a model of perfection.


A hanging item of jewellery, usually suspended from a necklace, earring or brooch, or a fixed hanging architectural ornament or lighting device. It is also used for pairs of artworks that are designed to be shown together. These are also called 'companion pieces'.

Commission, Idealisation, Pendant


  • Acc. No. NG 1513
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 146.00 x 227.00 cm (framed: 173 x 255.1 x 8.8cm)
  • Credit Bequest of Mrs Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Biel 1921