Plaque: Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

Painted enamel plaque depicting the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane

Plaque: Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
Limoges, mid-16th century
Enamel on copper, parcel-gilt
4 3/4 × 3 1/2 in. (12.1 × 8.9 cm)
Gift of Alexis Gregory, 2021
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.


One of the most important events preceding the Crucifixion, the agony of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane is recounted in the four canonical Gospels. Only Mark (14:32–72) and Matthew (26:36–46), however, mention the location of Gethsemane. On this plaque, the apostles Peter, John, and James rest against rocks as Christ prays in the background. Prefiguring Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, an angel in the sky presents a chalice and host in his hands. In the distance, Judas arrives with soldiers. The scene is likely based on a series of fourteen engravings of the Passion of Christ by Lucas van Leyden (ca. 1494–1533), published in 1521.

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