About this artwork

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).

  • title:
    The Tribute Money
  • accession number:
    NG 1513
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    About 1620 - 1630
  • measurements:
    146.00 x 227.00 cm (framed: 173.50 x 255.30 x 11.00 cm)
  • credit line:
    Bequest of Mrs Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Biel 1921
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Giovanni Serodine

Giovanni Serodine

Serodine was born in Ascona, but by about 1620 was working in Rome. There he was greatly influenced by Caravaggio’s work, especially his use of unidealised figures and strong light and shadow. In the past Serodine’s paintings have been confused with the work of Hendrick Terbrugghen, the great Dutch follower of Caravaggio, but it is unclear whether the two artists ever met. Only about fifteen paintings by Serodine survive, partly because of his early death. All of these date from the 1620s, and display his characteristically vigorous brushwork.

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