(active 1496-1530 in Venice)

Christ Praying in the Garden

1510 or 1516
Panel, 371 x 224 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Marco Basaiti, an admirer of Antonello da Messina and Giovanni Bellini found himself fascinated at the beginning of the sixteenth century by the new artistic manner pioneered by Giorgione. Already in 'Christ Praying in the Garden' which adorned the first altar on the right in the Church of San Giobbe and which belonged to the family of Francesco Foscari, the influence of the style of Antonello (visible in the integrity of colour of the figures and the arrangement of saints at the sides of the portico, of the apostles, and of Christ absorbed in prayer) gives way in the landscape to lyrically dreaming passages clearly drawing their spirit from Giorgione. Though this panel may not exactly offer a complete synthesis of the late fifteenth century world with the dazzling innovations of the early years of the sixteenth century, it is nevertheless emblematic of the meeting-point of two of the finest ages of Venetian painting.

The doubt over the date derive from a faded inscription. The represented saints are Louis of Toulouse, Francis, Dominic, and Mark.