The Passion and Crucifixion

Ephraim Gate

Oil on canvas. 51 x 61cm.

As the Jewish leaders decide on the death of Jesus, Christ with his Apostles withdraws ‘to a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert.’ (John 11:15). I have visualised this as a retreat, to prepare himself for the imminent Passion

As with any profound distress or anxiety, we can obtain at best superficial distraction through our surroundings, friends or pleasurable activities, particularly when the source of pain is unavoidable.

It is this point I have been primarily concerned with in this painting. I have tried to suggest a welcoming walled garden that almost reaches out to embrace Christ, as he closes the garden gate, contrasting this with the heavy ochrous inevitability of the surrounding desert, with it's disturbing thorny plant life that strains towards the gate and Christ.

Also in this image group: