The Agony in the Garden

Object Details

Title:

The Agony in the Garden

Artist/Maker(s):

Carle Vanloo (French, 1705 - 1765)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1760

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, brown and gray wash, heightened with white gouache, over black chalk

Dimensions:

46 x 33.2 cm (18 1/8 x 13 1/16 in.)

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This drawing illustrates Christ's agony, as recounted in the Gospel of Saint Luke: "He himself withdrew from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and began to pray: 'Father, if it be thy will, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but thine be done.' And now there appeared to him an angel from heaven bringing him strength, and in anguish of spirit he prayed the more urgently; and his sweat was like clots of blood falling to the ground."

Angels descend from the heavens to surround and support the agonized Christ in the moments preceding his arrest. One offers Jesus the cup that symbolizes his acceptance of death on the cross. A powerful, iridescent light floods his body from the heavens above, imbuing the scene with a transparent glow.

The elaborate finish and large size of this drawing suggest that Carle Vanloo intended it as an independent work of art. Although there is no trace of a connected painting, it may have been presented to a patron for approval of a commission.

Provenance

Prault collection (Paris), possibly their sale, November 27, 1780, lot 46

Private Collection

Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel

July 5, 2000

Sotheby's (London), lot 89 to Katrin Bellinger

Exhibitions
French Drawings from the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 10 to December 1, 2002
Between Heaven and Earth: Images of Christ and the Virgin (March 19 to June 29, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 19 to June 29, 2003
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014