Andrea Mantegna, The Agony in the Garden
Inkjet on watercolour paper
90 x 60 centimetres
The beautifully rendered rock formations, the hallucinatory city of Jerusalem in the distance and the intertwined bodies of the sleeping disciples were good reasons to follow Andrea Mantegna's 1458-1460 painting, The Agony in the Garden, a bit more closely with this re-imagining. The complexity of the scene made it a forbidding challenge to develop using 3D modelling, hence the pared back, more sombre approach that I finally chose.
The decision to dress Jesus and the disciples in identical clothing was made partly to simplify the execution of the work -- basically a case of one model and four different poses -- and partly because it imparted a cult like appearance to the group. The black-shirted Judas treacherously leads the motorbike helmeted, goon squad Romans to arrest the praying Jesus, and a spectral, young, female angel exudes a delicate golden glow over the baleful mining site landscape.
The result looks like a tableaux from a bad film noir, which was the intention.
Giovanni Bellini, Agony in the Garden: The National Gallery, London