Karel Teissig’s Black Jesus

At the end of the TV miniseries Killing Jesus that premiered this March, several contemporary Jesus artworks scan the screen. I recognized many of them, but one that was new to me and that I really like is a crucifixion painting by the Czech graphic artist Karel Teissig (1925-2000). Here’s a screen capture:

Black crucifixionIt appears that Teissig created this image as a film poster illustration for Lotr po pravici, the Czech release of the 1968 Italian film Seduto alla sua destra (released in the US as Black Jesus). Directed by Valerio Zurlini, the film is a thinly disguised biography of the Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, here called Maurice Lalubi. Lalubi is a Christ figure who passively resists the dictatorial regime that had sprung up in his country and as a result is imprisoned and tortured.

Black Jesus movie poster

1970 Czech poster for the film Lotr po pravici (Black Jesus), designed by Karel Teissig

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