Peter Coeck van Aelst

Agony in the Garden

Agony in the Garden
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Peter Coeck van Aelst
Painting, Oil on panel, 83x56.5 cm
Origin: Netherlands, 1527-1530

The Bible relates that, after the Last Supper, Christ set off for the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, taking with him three of his chosen disciples, those who had been present earlier at his Transfiguration. Christ kneels and raises his eyes towards the chalice standing on the outcrop of rock, which symbolises the chalice of fate. Christ prays to God the Father, wracked by fear of his coming suffering and death, to alter the fate set out for him. Unlike Christ, who is in a state of inner conflict between the divine and human sides of his nature, between spirit and body, the apostles have all fallen fast asleep - Peter leaning against a tree stump; to his right the young John, deep in sleep; and behind Christ, his head leaning on his hand, is James. In the background we see a crowd of soldiers, scribes and pontiffs armed with swords, spears, lanters and torches, led by Judas and heading for the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Christ.

Personage: Christ
Source of entry: Provenance: before 1797
Theme: The Bible and Christianity
Exibition: Netherlandish Art: 15th - early 17th centuries

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