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Probably by Lo Spagna, The Agony in the Garden

Key facts
Full title The Agony in the Garden
Artist Probably by Lo Spagna
Artist dates active 1504; died 1528
Date made perhaps 1500-5
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 60.3 × 67.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1878
Inventory number NG1032
Location Gallery B
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Agony in the Garden
Probably by Lo Spagna

Christ kneels on a grassy hillock, hands folded in prayer, and looks up at a floating angel who carries a chalice. At the front, three of the apostles slumber, heads resting on their arms or hands. Soldiers wearing fantastic Renaissance versions of classical armour approach from the sides, led by Judas, who has betrayed Christ’s location to them. This is the Agony in the Garden, as told in the Gospel of Mark (14: 32–43).

This painting was once thought to be by the young Raphael but is now attributed to Lo Spagna, another pupil of Perugino. It is based largely on Perugino’s Agony in the Garden (Uffizi, Florence) which was painted in the 1490s. At this time, artists used various techniques for designing pictures, including transferring figures from cartoons (full size and usually detailed preparations on paper for a painting). Fragments of a pricked cartoon for the four principal figures here are also in the Uffizi.

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