On the variety of Jesus depictions in art

“Beauty alone has never been the object of most of those who built, painted, sculpted, or carved to make visible this Jesus who left behind no proven image or even description in words of his appearance. He appears in art in many ways, from King of kings and Lord of lords to gentle rabbi, compassionate friend, and suffering Man of Sorrows. He has been imagined in the guise of every civilization. It may seem, then, as if the Jesus whom artists and their cultures portray is an entirely ideal projection of themselves. Yet for him to be made visible in such a variety of images when no one authentic image is possible, surely there is something more to this than our human needs. If Christ is, as he has been called, the image of the invisible God, of that God, in whose image humanity is said to be made, then is it any wonder that the faces given to Jesus Christ are as numerous as the peoples of the earth?”

—from The Face: Jesus in Art,
an Emmy Award-winning documentary written by James Clifton

This entry was posted in Non-Western Art, Theology, Western Art and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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