Mantegna - the San Zeno Altarpiece - Predella 1

The original  predella panels, now in France, show scenes from the Passion of Christ. As mentioned, they have been replaced in San Zeno with 19th century copies painted on canvas.
The left hand scene shows the Agony in the garden. A dramatic Jerusalem rises in the distance: soldiers led by Judas are making their way down a winding path. The apostles are sound asleep. The angel swoops down in front of a rocky mountainside. Gethsemane is shown here as an orchard; the central tree appears to be dying, and from its shape it could represent the cross. As we move to the right, the trees are fruiting, perhaps representing rebirth and resurrection.
  It is interesting to contrast this with another version of the subject by Mantegna, shown below, painted at almost exactly the same time. It is now in the National Gallery in London.  Note that, in the San Zeno version, Christ faces to the right, leading us in to the next panel of the predella, the Crucifixion.

Musee des Beaux-arts, Tours

National Gallery, London
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