- Reference number
- Titian [Vecellio di Gregorio Tiziano]
- The Agony in the Garden
- 176 cm x 136 cm
- On display
- Royal Collection (Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid, “Iglesia Vieja”, 1837)
According to the New Testament, moments before Christ was seized by Roman soldiers and his Passion began, he withdrew to an orchard on the Mount of Olives to pray alongside his Apostles (Matthew 26, 36-46; Mark 14, 32-42; Luke 22, 40-46; John 18, 1).
In this composition, Titian has replaced the Apostles that traditionally appear in the foreground with images of the soldiers who have arrived to seize Christ. Their appearance is grotesque, and they are dressed in the style of the painter's time.
This type of painting, in which the scene appears almost in darkness with just a few, strong light sources, is called “nocturne”. They were much appreciated by the public at that time, and were also an interesting area of experimentation for artists who sought to demonstrate their skill by introducing various light sources into the scene. Here the light comes from the sky and from an oil lamp.
This work entered the Prado Museum collection in 1837.