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The Agony in the Garden

GUERCINO (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (1591 - 1666)

The Agony in the Garden

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 232.1 x 162.5 cm

Acquired: 1978; Purchase

Accession Number: NMW A 7

Christ is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest.  In the agony of doubt Christ prayed 'Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me'. Beads of sweat appear like blood on his forehead.  This altarpiece is typical of the Catholic Counter-Reformation The cup is depicted as a chalice containing the three nails of the Crucifixion, linking Christ's passion with the Mass. The artist was nicknamed il Guercino - the squinter - after a childhood accident left him with a squint. Born in Cento, he established himself as a leading painter in Bologna.

This work is currently on display.

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