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Cesari, Giuseppe (c. 1568 - 1640)
The Agony in the GardenDate: c. 1597-98
Theme: New Testament
Technique: Oil on canvas
Museum: Allen Memorial Art Museum
Location: Oberlin, OH, USA
Size: 53 x 76.2 cm,
Notes: The nocturnal setting of Giuseppe Cesari's The Agony in the Garden evokes a lyrical, melancholic mood. As Christ prays and three apostles slumber in the foreground, Judas leads the Roman soldiers into the garden to arrest Christ.
In this depiction of the Agony in the Garden (Christ on the Mount of Olives), Cesari represents Christ kneeling on a rocky mount as he receives an angelic vision, here bearing the portentous cross. The three apostles who accompanied Christ to the garden--James, John, and Peter (from left to right)--sleep in the foreground. Cesari's rich, saturated palette evokes all the mystery and drama of the nocturnal landscape. Deep shadows are pierced by multiple light sources: the divine light flooding Christ as he prays, and the moon shuttling through clouds at upper right, fitfully illuminating the soldiers as they come to arrest Christ.
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