Pinacoteca di Brera Informazioni

The Agony in the Garden

Veronese (Paolo Caliari)

The work, brought to Brera in 1808, has been identified with a canvas by Veronese documented by the sources in Santa Maria Maggiore at Venice. According to a recent hypothesis, it was one of the works donated by the nobleman Simone Lanzo to the nuns of Santa Maria Maggiore in 1584 “to adorn the great chapel.” It dates from around 1582-83, at a time close to the Baptism and Temptation of Christ. In this case too, the crucial part of the representation is located on one side of the canvas, with the figures in the foreground picked out from the darkness by the light of the Holy Spirit: Veronese focused on the human side of Jesus when, on becoming aware of the Passion awaiting him, he swoons in the arms of an angel, a story recounted by Pietro Aretino in his Humanity of Christ published in 1535. The atmosphere is visionary: set in the deep shadow, the angel’s tunic reflects the glare of a shaft of light. The artist’s evocative handling of light, intensifying the scene’s dramatic tone, points to the influence of Tintoretto.

Download hi-res image TITLE The Agony in the Garden
AUTHOR Veronese (Paolo Caliari)
DATE 1582 - 3
DIMENSIONS cm 108 × 180
Work on display
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