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Annibale Carracci (Bologna 1560-Rome 1609)

The Agony in the Garden c.1596-1597

RCIN 402990

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Against a dark background the figure of Christ kneels, his head turned right towards the figure of an angel in the upper left of the painting. Christ holds his right hand to his breast and gesticulates outwards to the viewer with his left. The angel points upwards with his right hand and downwards to a small cross with his left.

Although it has suffered, the picture is acceptable as Annibale's and probably dates from the period just before, or soon after, his arrival in Rome (c. 1595-7). When it was in the collection of Charles I the painting was engraved in reverse by Vorsterman. The engraving contains a considerable amount of detail which is not visible in the original painting, even after cleaning, including the figure of a sleeping Apostle behind the angel, heads of soldiers behind Christ, and a crown of thorns beside the cross on the left (this has possibly been cut away).