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The Agony in the Garden
Garofalo
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On the night before his crucifixion, Christ went to the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. He said his prayers; his disciples Peter, John and James fell asleep. Christ asked God, if possible, to spare him the destiny that awaited him. Eventually Christ accepted that God’s will must be done, and an angel came from heaven to strengthen and comfort him.

Garofalo depicts Christ at prayer while Judas, who has betrayed him, brings the Roman soldiers to arrest him. An angel appears in a burst of light in the night sky, carrying a Crucifix spouting blood into a chalice. This represents the spilling of Christ’s blood, which will turn into the wine of the Eucharist, and illustrates Christ’s prayer: ‘Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done’ (Luke 22: 42). Christ touches his heart and gathers his cloak ready to get up and confront his destiny.

Key facts
Artist Garofalo
Artist dates about 1481 - 1559
Full title The Agony in the Garden
Date made about 1524-6
Medium and support Oil on canvas, transferred from wood
Dimensions 49.2 x 38.7 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1860
Inventory number NG642
Location in Gallery Room 10
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