Christ on the Mount of Olives (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Christ on the Mount of Olives - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleChrist on the Mount of Olives
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Christ on the Mount of Olives

“Christ on the Mount of Olives” is a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer created in 1511. As a part of the “The Small Passion” series, this work is a prime example of Northern Renaissance art and is classified under the religious painting genre. The artwork is currently housed in the British Museum, London, UK.

The artwork depicts a powerful scene from the biblical narrative of Jesus Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Christ is seen in the foreground, kneeling and facing a dramatic cascade of light from the heavens, where an angel is presenting to Him the cup, which symbolizes the suffering He is about to endure. His posture and expression convey a deep sense of anguish and resignation. In contrast, the three disciples—Peter, James, and John—are shown sleeping in the lower part of the woodcut, oblivious to Christ’s turmoil. Their apparent lack of vigilance juxtaposes sharply with the heavy emotion burdening Christ. Dürer’s adept abilities in mastering the intricate details and complex expressions are evident in this work, with the dynamic play of light and shadow intensifying the emotional gravity of the scene. The small, yet richly detailed woodcut demonstrates Dürer’s capacity to convey narrative and pathos within a limited format, a feat that has solidified his legacy as one of the great masters of the Northern Renaissance.

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