Friday, July 17, 2009

The Agony in the Garden

Title: The Agony in the Garden

Artist: Francisco Goya

Medium: Oil on panel

Size: 47 x 35 cm

Date: 1819

Location: Escuelas Pías de San Antón, Madrid.

As recorded in Luke 22:39-43: Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.

This dramatic painting is a pendant to the large altarpiece ‘The Last Communion of St Joseph of Calasanz’, a commission the artist received May 1819. When the altarpiece was finished Goya wrote to the Rector returning most of the payment he had received saying: 'D. Francisco Goya has to do something in homage to his countryman.” And a few days later presented the Pious School with a gift of ‘The Agony in the Garden’ depicting Christ alone and wracked with doubt shortly before his arrest. Both this small panel and the altarpiece are outstanding in Goya's oeuvre for the intensity of the religious devotion they reflect. Goya may well have felt a personal involvement with the saint who was the founder of the religious schools that are said to have given him his education in Saragossa.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown and a chronicler of history. The subversive and subjective element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists.

No comments:

Post a Comment