William Blake
The Agony in the Garden c.1799–1800

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
The Agony in the Garden
Date c.1799–1800
Medium Tempera on iron
Dimensions Support: 270 x 380 mm
Acquisition Presented by the executors of W. Graham Robertson through the Art Fund 1949
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

This illustrates lines from St Luke's Gospel, although the inclusion of the sleeping disciples also refers to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Christ is shown praying in the Garden of Gethsemene just before his betrayal by Judas and his arrest:

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

One of Blake's patrons described him as 'a most fervent admirer of the Bible, and intimately acquainted with its beauties.'

October 2001

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