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Annunciation, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, 1850

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Father and Son, by Corbert Gauthier

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Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Peter Paul Rubens & Jan Brueghel the Younger, 1628

Martha, Mary & Lazarus

Sculpture, Mary Magdalene turns to look at the risen Christ

Mary Magdalene

Michael Belk, photograph, detail

Jesus and children

Entry into Jerusalem, mosaic, Palermo cathedral

Entry into Jerusalem

Christ Cleansing the Temple, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1875, detail

Cleansing of the Temple

The Last Supper, Pierre Dancart, Seville Cathedral

The Last Supper

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, painting by Heinrich Hofmann, 1890

Agony in the Garden

The Kiss of Judas, (El Beso de Judas), Francisco Salzillo, carving, 1754

The Kiss of Judas

'Ecce Homo' (Behold the Man), Antonio Ciseri

Jesus and Pontius Pilate

The Crown of Thorns, Cranach

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Crucifixion, painting by Francis Bacon, 1933

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Burial of Christ by Caravaggio, detail of the face of Mary, mother of Jesus

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Bramantino, The Resurrected Christ, 1490

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

FAMOUS PAINTINGS OF JESUS AT GETHSEMANE 

Home                               Hidden Meanings                      Bible study: Jesus at Gethsemane                     Gospel text 


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.

 

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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Paintings by

Giovanni Bellini

Carl Bloch

Ambrogio Bergognone

Fra Angelico

Nikolai Gai

Jan Gossaert

El Greco

Heinrich Hofmann

Hans Holbein the Elder

Andrea Mantegna

Lo Spagna

James Tissot

   

 

Hidden meanings   in the Garden paintings

  • Paintings of the Agony sometimes show an angel, or angels, appearing to Jesus and showing him the instruments of the Passion; or they may show the angel offering the chalice and wafer. They suggest he saw his future all too clearly.

  • Gat Shemanim (Gethsemane) means in Hebrew '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: 'Father, if it be thy will, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but thine be done.' 

  • 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. 

  • When Jesus returned to the disciples he found them asleep and reproached them for their lack of resolve. Other variants show Christ either kneeling (as in Luke) or prostrate on his face (as in Matthew and Mark). 

  • 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 long 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. 

 

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."

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

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