Famous Paintings of the Agony in the Garden, as Jesus prayed to God

Famous paintings of Jesus at Gethsemane

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Icon of Jesus Christ

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Modern images of Jesus and Mary: Mary in 'The Passion of the Christ'

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of Jesus and Mary

Mary and the angel Gabriel

Annunciation

Birth of Jesus

Finding the Saviour in the Temple, William Hunt, detail

Jesus' family

Photograph by Michael Belk

Jesus and children

Mary Magdalene sculpture

Mary Magdalene

Christ in the house of Martha and Mary, by Velázquez

Martha & Mary

Mary of Nazareth

Mary of Nazareth

Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, Flandrin

Entry to Jerusalem

Jesus and the money changers

Jesus & the money-changers

Painting, Last Supper, Joos van Cleve

The Last Supper

Spanish wood carving, The Kiss of Judas

Betrayal by Judas

Passion of Christ, Cranach

The Passion

Ecce Homo, by Quintin Massys

Jesus before Pilate

Crucifixion, Francis Bacon

Crucifixion

Jesus taken down from the cross, painting detail

Descent from the cross

Burial of Jesus

Painting of the resurrected Christ

Resurrection

Fra Angelico, angel from painting of the Annunciation

Angels


 

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Jesus and Judas, the kiss of greeting, Giotto

Judas' Story

19th century painting of a child with its guardian angel

What is an 'Angel'?

The angel Gabriel in 'The Annunciation' by Fra Angelico

Angel paintings

King Herod, as portrayed by Basil Rathbone

Judas, Herod, Pilate

Jesus as portrayed in the movie 'Passion of the Christ'

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After the Last Supper, Jesus and three of his closest friends went into an olive garden outside the walls of Jerusalem. Jesus faced a terrible ordeal and, while his friends slept, he prayed to be spared. His prayer strengthened him and he was able to accept his future, placing his faith in God.


Hidden meanings

  • Peter is shown as grey-haired with a curly beard and perhaps a sword (in anticipation of his cutting off the servant's ear); James who has dark hair and a beard; John, the youngest, with lonAgony in the Garden, paintings, Carl Blochg hair sometimes down to his shoulders. 

  • Many paintings merge the Agony with the Betrayal - look for a group of approaching figures in the background. These are soldiers led by Judas. 

  • Paintings of the Agony suggest that Jesus saw his future all too clearly. They sometimes show an angel offering him the instruments of torture.

  • Hebrew Gat Shemanim (Gethsemane) means 'oil press'. The garden was an olive grove.

  • 'Agony' is the spiritual struggle between the two sides of Jesus' nature, the human that feared suffering and wanted to avoid it, the divine that gave him strength: 

  • In early examples we may see, instead of the angel, the head of God the Father or his symbol, a right hand pointing out of a cloud. 


Christ in the Garden of Olives, Nicolai Ge (Gai)

Christ in the Garden, Nikolai Gai, Russian painter

 


Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, Heinrich Hofmann, 1890

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemene, Heinrich Hofmann, 1890

 


The Agony in the Garden, Ambrogio Bergognone, 1501

The Agony in the Garden, Ambrogio Bergognone, 1501

 


The Agony in the Garden, Giovanni Bellini, 1459

The Agony in the Garden, Giovanni Bellini, 1459

 


The Agony in the Garden, El Greco, 1590-1600

The Agony in the Garden, El Greco, 1590-1600

 


The Agony in the Garden, Fra Angelico, fresco, 1450

The Agony in the Garden, Fra Angelico, fresco, 1450

 


Gethsemane, Carl Bloch 

Gethsemane, Carl Bloch

 


The Agony in the Garden, Hans Holbein the Elder, 1505

The Agony in the Garden, Hans Holbein the Elder, 1505

 


The Agony in the Garden, Jan Gossaert

The Agony in the Garden, Jan Gossaert

 


The Agony in the Garden, Lo Spagna

The Agony in the Garden, Lo Spagna

 


The Agony in the Garden, Andrea Mantegna, 1431

The Agony in the Garden, Andrea Mantegna, 1431

 


Christ and the disciples going out into the Garden, Nikolai Gay

Christ and the disciples going out into the Garden, Nikolai Gay

 


The Grotto of the Agony, James Tissot 

The Grotto of the Agony, James Tissot


 

 

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The Bible text - Jesus' Agony in the Garden

Matt. 26:36-46

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I go yonder and pray." 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me." 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt." 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done." 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

Mark 14:32-42 

32 And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here, while I pray." 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch." 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, "Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou wilt." 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time, and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come; the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand."

Luke 22:39-46

39 And he came out, and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

 

 

Bible Art: Paintings and Artworks from the New Testament:  Jesus' Agony in the Garden

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