On the eve of his crucifixion, Christ went with the disciples Peter, James, and John to the Mount of Olives. Before the soldiers captured him, he prayed, kneeling in mortal fear. The angel with the cross alludes to his imminent martyrdom but also indicates divine grace. The act of salvation is, however, not revealed to the sleeping disciples. Cranach produced several versions of this scene.


  • Title: Christ on the Mount of Olives
  • Creator: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Date Created: c. 1520
  • Physical Dimensions: 68 × 40.2 cm
  • Technique and Material: Linden
  • Provenance: To the gallery prior to 1820, first listed in the inventory in 1809/addenda in 1820
  • Museum: Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
  • Inv.-No.: 1908
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-845318
  • External Link: http://www.skd.museum/de/museen-institutionen/zwinger-mit-semperbau/gemaeldegalerie-alte-meister/
  • Copyright: Photo © © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister/ Hans-Peter Klut; Text © Renaissance and Reformation: German Art in the Age of Dürer and Cranach, A Cooperation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, and the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen München, Catalogue of the Exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Nov 20, 2016 – March 26, 2017, Munich: Prestel, 2016; cat. no. 18 / Roland Enke
  • Catalogue: https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Renaissance-and-Reformation/Stephanie-Buck/Prestel-com/e504919.rhd
  • Artist Dates: 1472 Kronach–1553 Weimar
  • Artist Biography: Cranach, whose name derived from his birthplace, Kronach, was presumably trained by his father. Around 1502 Cranach was staying in Vienna, where he produced his first documented works. In 1504 Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony called him to his court in Wittenberg, where Cranach would head a very large, extremely productive workshop. The Cranach factory was active in prints as well as paintings. His many portraits of Martin Luther—the Cranach and Luther families were close friends—and his altarpieces with decidedly Reformist programs made Cranach and his memorable style the epitome of Protestant visual culture. Nevertheless, Cranach was also active for Luther’s adversaries, such as Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg.

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