“Prayer of the Chalice,” Fedor Antonovich Bruni – overview of the painting

“Prayer of the Chalice,” Fedor Antonovich Bruni – overview of the painting
“Prayer of the Chalice,” Fedor Antonovich Bruni - overview of the painting - 1

    • Posted by Fedor Antonovich Bruni
    • Museum: Russian Museum
    • Year: 1836

Overview of the painting :

The prayer for the cup is Fedor Antonovich Bruni. Oil on canvas 246 x 134.5 cm

This picture is rightfully considered the best of the images of Fedor Antonovich Bruni on a religious topic. The artist worked on it for almost two years. Strict color palette, virtuoso brush possession, a clearly verified composition – all this allowed the master to fully reveal the topic of sacrifice and loneliness.

Famous biblical plot: on the last night before the arrest, Jesus Christ came to offer a prayer to the Garden of Gethsemane, already knowing what awaits him in the morning. He kneels next to a large stone. The first prayer is finished and a cup appears in the sky in front of him, a symbol of the impending suffering, from which he must drink voluntarily. The golden unearthly light comes from it, enveloping the lonely figure of the Savior with a soft glow, separating it from the surrounding reality.

Everything around dissolves in night darkness, but under the pouring light, purple, bright pink and red shades of chiton become brighter, the fabric flickers in the deep folds of the cloak falling from the shoulder with deep blue halftones.

Jesus raises the questioning eyes to the cup, while still full of anxiety and fear, waiting for an answer to his prayer. His face is sad, but despair recedes, faith and peace are already returning to him. Jesus knows about his martyrdom and is preparing to humbly accept God’s will. Fragile hands calmly lie on the stone, and it becomes clear that Christ has reached inner calm and has ceased to fear trials. Everything froze, only the pale setting moon recalls that life goes on and morning will soon come.

There is not a single random detail in the picture, they are all subordinate to one plan. Behind the Savior is a dry ternary branch symbolizing death, but ahead is a living green ivy, a symbol of eternal life. Young grass breaks through, telling us about the resurrection.

The painting struck the artist’s contemporaries, they tried to repeat it repeatedly. Despite the tragedy of the plot, we leave it with a sense of faith and bright hope in the soul.