The Grotto of the Agony (La Grotte de l'agonie)
Following the Last Supper, Jesus and the apostles retreat to Gethsemane (an olive grove) on the Mount of Olives. While his disciples rest, Christ prays alone, asking God if it is possible to let his sufferings pass him by, yet reaffirming his commitment to submit to God’s will. Luke writes that an angel comes to strengthen him, though in his anguish Jesus sweats blood, a graphic detail that, unusually, Tissot omits.
While Luke’s account says that Christ receives comfort from the angel, Tissot’s image seems to promise little solace and, indeed, is profoundly different in tone from the earlier watercolor The Angels Came and Ministered to Him
. While one angel holds a chalice—the cup of Jesus’ suffering—the others proffer globes with scenes of the Passion to come, including Veronica’s veil, the Crucifixion, and the lamentation of the Virgin Mary.
After his tormented prayer to God, Jesus comes back to his apostles, only to find them asleep (note that Peter’s weapons are cast to one side). Awakening his followers, he rebukes them, urges their vigilance against temptation, and returns to his prayers.
Opaque watercolor over graphite on dark brown wove paper
Image: 11 1/16 x 14 7/16 in. (28.1 x 36.7 cm)
Sheet: 11 1/16 x 14 7/16 in. (28.1 x 36.7 cm)
Frame: 16 7/8 x 22 7/8 x 1 1/2 in. (42.9 x 58.1 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Purchased by public subscription
This item is not on view
James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Grotto of the Agony (La Grotte de l'agonie), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on dark brown wove paper, Image: 11 1/16 x 14 7/16 in. (28.1 x 36.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.231 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.231_PS1.jpg)
overall, 00.159.231_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.