SACRED ART IN 100 WORDS -The Grotto of the Agony,James Tissot, 1886-1894,Brooklyn Museum

The painting recounts Christ’s inner turmoil in the Garden of Gethsemane. Upon the uneven ground lies the fragile Christ. His body is twisted and his feet, unstable. Surrounding him are a host of brilliantly illuminated angels. They seem helpless as they solemnly unfold the brutal passion awaiting Christ. While the first angel holds the chalice of suffering, the others present globes with scenes of the Passion, including Veronica’s veil, the Crucifixion and the lamentation of the Blessed Virgin. Notice that Christ attempts to look upwards but appears too faint. This resounds the Scriptures –‘The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’. As Christ firmly joins His hands in prayer, He once again whispers to His Father – ‘Not My will but Yours be done.’

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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