And [Jesus] came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
(Luke 22:39-44, KJV)
Continuing our Lenten program on artworks from Ukraine illustrating the Passion of Christ, we come this week to an image known as the Agony in the Garden, offering an exceptional view of Jesus in all his humanity, pleading in the Garden of Gethsemane to be spared the horrors of his impending death on the Cross. When the topic of prayer comes up, you often hear Christ's words quoted that "whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22, KJV)." In Gethsemane, he keeps faith knowing his own prayer for deliverance will not be granted. The icons of Kateryna Shadrina from Lviv are readily identified by their bold, expressive palettes of unusual hues. Heaven and earth meet in kaleidoscopic explosions of color, as we see in this depiction of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, where the kneeling Jesus is, quite literally, caught in the divine limelight. Shadrina's icon joins other images of the Passion of Christ on the New Iconography of Lviv page in the Schools of Sacred Art section. Pray for the Peace of Ukraine! (John Kohan)