Inventory number
P00436
Author
Titian [Vecellio di Gregorio Tiziano]
Title
The Agony in the Garden
Chronology
1562
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
176 cm x 136 cm
School
Italian
Theme
Religion
On display
Yes
Provenance
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.

 
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