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The Agony in the GardenEnlarge image

The Agony in the Garden, 1508

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471 - 1528
engraving on laid paper
11.6 x 7.2 cm
Purchased 1949
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5600)

Compared to his earlier woodcut of this subject, Dürer has subdued the landscape setting to emphasize the tension between Christ’s human fear of capture and his divine strength. The emotional power of the scene is conveyed in part through strongly contrasting areas of light-reflecting highlights and grey shadow, which suggest the evening hours following the Last Supper, a chiaroscuro effect that anticipates Rembrandt.

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