Betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane (1888) by Ilya Repin

Betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane - Ilya Repin - 1888

Artwork Information

TitleBetrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane
ArtistIlya Repin
Art MovementRealism

About Betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane

The artwork “Betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane” was crafted by Ilya Repin in the year 1888. As a prominent figure in the Realism art movement, Repin is well-regarded for his attention to lifelike detail and social commentary. The genre of this piece is categorized as a sketch and study, indicating that it may have served as a preparatory work or an exploration of ideas related to a larger project or commission.

The artwork presents a dynamic and highly emotional scene, as befits the momentous event it depicts—the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. The composition is filled with a sense of turmoil and urgency. Dark, sketchy lines and swift, gestural strokes convey movement and tension among the figures. There is a group of individuals gathered in a chaotic assembly, with some figures shown interacting closely while others appear as onlookers or participants in the drama. The scene is set in an outdoor space with barren trees and sparse vegetation, reinforcing a feeling of desolation and somberness appropriate to the narrative being conveyed.

The raw expressiveness and the loose, evocative technique are characteristic of a study, where the focus is often on capturing the essence of a scene rather than the polished details. Repin’s skill in conveying human emotion and narrative through such gestural representation is evident in the artwork, offering viewers a glimpse into the artist’s process and his engagement with a pivotal biblical event.

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