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Christ on the Mount of Olives (Agony in the Garden)

Albrecht Dürer began the series of sixteen plates known as the Small [or *Engraved*] Passion in 1507, the year of his return from a second Italian journey. One of his most remarkable achievements, the Small Passion was Dürer’s only attempt at engraving a serial narrative. What distinguishes the Small Passion is not only its ambition, but its artistic and technical mastery. Devoid of explanatory text, Dürer’s final series (published in 1531) communicates the emotional impact of Christ’s Passion through purely visual means. Each plate is beautifully composed as an independent work, yet each remains part of the larger whole, with each dramatic episode holding the viewer spellbound from one scene to the next. Few complete sets of all sixteen images exist, and fewer still consist of early impressions in such excellent condition as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s set (Eskenazi Museum of Art 83.24A–.24P).

Albrecht Dürer
German, 1471–1528
Christ on the Mount of Olives (Agony in the Garden), Plate 2 from the Small Passion
1508
Engraving on paper
Image/plate: 4 9/16 x 2 13/16 in. (11.6 x 7.2 cm); sheet: 5 1/16 x 3 5/16 in. (11.6 x 7.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John H. Myers, 83.24B