E.94 Agony in the Garden

E.94 Limosin, Agony in the Garden

After Rosso?

Etching by Léonard Limosin, 25.5 x 19.8 P (Paris).  Inscribed on a plaque near bottom center: LEONARD / LIMOSIN, and slightly to the left of this: 1544.

Fig.E.94 (Brussels)

Robert-Dumesnil, V, 1841, 49, 3.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, II, 553, 3.  Robert-Dumesnil/Duplessis, XI, 1871, 127-128.  Herbet, IV, 1900, 328-329 (1969, 178-179), 5 and 6 (the same print).

COLLECTIONS: Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale Albert Ier.  Paris, AA 1 Rés.


Renouvier, 1854, 179.

Kusenberg, 1931, 115, 119, 208, n. 312, pointed out that the two reclining figures in the foreground are related to two in the foreground of Rosso’s relief at the left side of the West Wall in the Gallery of Francis I.

Adhémar, 1938, 2, no. 5.

Verdier, 1967, 175, indicates there is no known enamel of this composition by Limosin.

Baratte, 1993, 22.


As Kusenberg said (see above), the two foreground figures are related to two in the same direction in Rosso’s relief in the gallery (Fig.P.22, WestWall, d), although in the etching they are clothed and the arm of the foremost figure is raised.  No print is known of the composition of this relief.  Limosin could possibly have worked from the relief itself, provided he was at Fontainebleau, which is not certain.  There could, of course, have been a print that is now lost.  Or he could have known a lost drawing by Rosso for this relief.  However, he could have made his etching from a lost drawing by Rosso of the entire scene of his print.  If this was the case, we cannot know how specifically he followed Rosso’s model.

The sleeping apostle with his arms crossed over his chest also resembles an apostle in Rosso’s Agony in the Garden of 1528 or 1529 engraved by Cherubino Alberti in 1574 (Fig.E.3).  These figures are not identical but they are sufficiently similar to encourage one to think that Limosin’s etching is derived from a drawing by Rosso that he made in France with some recollection of his earlier composition of the same subject.

ENAMEL: There is no known independent enamel of this scene. But the composition of the etching that was used for the Agony in the Garden appears in the background at the upper left of Limosin’s Kiss of Judas in Baltimore (Verdier, 1967, 175-177, no. 107).  Limosin’s etching of the Kiss of Judas (Fig.E.95) does not show this episode.  The pose of the apostle at the left has been changed to accommodate this figure to the curved edge of the enamel.  The setting has also been altered.