This painting depicts Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, immediately before his arrest. The work is thought to date around 1518, in Cranach's middle period. After the Last Supper, Christ went to the Mount of Olives, accompanied by his disciples. Three of his disciples, Peter, Jacob and John, accompanied him to the Garden of Gethsemane, located at the base of the Mount, but then they left him and he prayed alone. Here Christ is seen in the middle of the composition on a slight rise on the ground. His three disciples sleep in the foreground, contrary to Christ's orders. An angel appears to the upper right of Christ, bearing a sacred chalice and Cross, while in the background a group led by Judas appears, come to arrest Christ. The darkening sky presents a strange contrast between dark clouds above and bright sunset below, alluding to Christ's suffering and the tragedy to come. The landscape depiction is reminiscent of the Danube school style, suggesting that this work is not that far removed from Cranach's early period works painted during his Viennese period. There is another work by Cranach at the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden of the same subject but larger overall, and the majority of motifs in that painting accord with those seen here.(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 11)


  • Title: The Garden of Gethsemane
  • Creator Lifespan: 1472 - 1553
  • Creator Nationality: German
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Weimar
  • Creator Birth Place: Kronach
  • Date Created: c. 1518
  • Location Created: German
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed and dated lower left: The Mark of the Serpent
  • Provenance: Failly-Goltstein, schloß Breil near Geilenkirchen; Auc. Ch. Sedelmeyer, Paris, 1906, lot no. 5, repr.; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1907; Auc., Park Burnet, 4. 5. 1944; Private collection, U. S. A.; Julius Böhler München; Otto Wertheimer, Paris.
  • Physical Dimensions: w320 x h540 mm
  • Painter: Lucas Cranach the Elder
  • Object title (Japanese): ゲッセマネの祈り
  • Object notes (Japanese): 捕縛直前の、キリストの橄欖山での祈りの場面を描いた本作品は、1518年頃、すなわちクラナッハの中期に属するものと考えられている。キリストは、最後の晩餐の後、弟子たちを引き連れ橄欖山に向かう。その麓、ゲッセマネの園で、特にペテロ、ヤコブ、ヨハネの三人を伴い、さらに彼らから離れ、一人、神に祈りを捧げる。画面中央、土地が一段高くなったところにキリストが、その下に、キリストの命令にも拘わらず眠り込んでしまった三人の使徒が描かれている。キリストの右上方には聖杯と十字架を持った天使が、そして背景には、ユダに先導されてキリスト逮捕に来た群衆の姿が描写されている。暗くなりかけた宵空は、上空の暗雲と夕陽に映える低い部分とが不気味な対照をなし、作品の主題であるキリストの苦悩とこれから起こる悲劇を暗示しているかのようである。風景描写にはまだドナウ派風の様式が感じられ、それは、本作品がウィーン時代に制作された初期作品とそれほど隔たったものではないことを示唆している。ドレスデン美術館にはこれよりひとまわり大きい同主題の作品があり、そのモティーフは多くの点で本作品と一致している。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 11)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): クラーナハ、ルカス(父)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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