Tuesday, January 8, 2008

There is no undisputed historical depiction of Jesus.
The most common illustration are Christian icons. Images flourished in Medieval art. Most surviving images of Jesus have in common a number of appearance traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus despite lack of evidence for the accuracy of these depictions.
No detailed physical description of Jesus is contained in any of the canonical Gospels. During the Roman Empire's persecution of Christians, Christian art was necessarily furtive and ambiguous. The earliest surviving Christian art comes from the late 3rd and early 4th centuries on the walls of Christian tombs in the catacombs. Here, and only here, Jesus is portrayed in two different ways: older, bearded and robed and another as a bare faced youth holding a wand. He uses the wand to change water to wine, multiply the bread and fishes, and raise Lazarus. When pictured healing, he only lays on hands. The wand is thought to be a symbol of power. The bare faced youth with the wand may indicate that the Jesus was thought of as a user of magic or a wonder worker by some Early Christians.
There is also the Shroud of Turin, which appears in history in 1353 and which some have speculated is the same image as the Mandylion of Edessa, which disappeared in the wars surrounding the fall of the Byzantine Empire shortly before then. Controversy still surrounds the claims made for the Shroud of Turin.
There are also icon compositions of Jesus and Mary that are traditionally believed by many Orthodox to have originated in paintings by Luke the Evangelist.

Christian depiction of Jesus

Main article: Alexamenos graffito Alexamenos graffito
Conventional depictions of Christ include:

Theotokos images (mother and child)
Baptism of the Lord
Descent from the Cross
Pieta (mother and dead son)
Resurrected Christ
Lamb of God
Christ Pantokrator
Last Judgement Unconventional depictions
Several Hadith quote Muhammad describing Isa (the Islamic name of Jesus) as he appeared in a dream, and during Muhammad's ascension to Heaven:
"While I was sleeping, I saw myself (in a dream), performing Tawaf (circumambulation of the House of God in Makkah). I saw a reddish-white man with lank hair, with water dripping from his head, I asked, "Who is this?" They replied, "The Son of Maryam (Mary)..." (Bukhari, Muslim)
"Narrated Abdullah: The Prophet mentioned...While sleeping near the Ka'ba last night, I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, 'Who is this?' They replied, 'This is Jesus, son of Mary.'" (Bukhari 4:55:649)
"Narrated Salim from his father: No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, "While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka'ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, 'Who is this?' The people said, 'He is the son of Mary.'" (Bukhari 4:55:650)
"Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "On the night of my Ascension to Heaven...I saw Jesus who was of average height with red face as if he had just come out of a bathroom." (Bukhari 4:55:607)

Jesus in Islam
Jesus as the Good shepherd. Ceiling of S. Callisto catacomb, mid 3rd century.
A representation of Jesus as the sun-god Helios/Sol Invictus riding in his chariot. Mosaic of the 3rd century on the Vatican grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica.
Mural painting from the catacomb of Commodilla. One of the first bearded images of Jesus, late 4th century.
Depiction of Jesus in St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, 6th century.
An image of Jesus as a medieval knight bearing an attributed coat of arms devised by officers of arms based on the Veil of Veronica
Jesus depicted on an early 8th-century coin.
This 11th-century portrait is one of many images of Jesus in which a halo with a cross is used. Such depictions are characteristic of Eastern Orthodox iconography. Characteristically, he is portrayed as similar in features and skin tone to the culture of the artist.
A 13th century Byzantine mosaic of Christ from Hagia Sophia, Constantinople.
An traditional Ethiopian depiction of Jesus and Mary with distinctively "Ethiopian" features.
The Baptism of Christ, by Piero della Francesca, 1449.
Jesus, aged 12, teaching the doctors of the Faith, painted by José Ribera.
Images of Jesus A Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man, from Mark chapter 10.
A mural depicting the baptism of Jesus in a typical Haitian rural scenery, Cathédrale de Sainte Trinité, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Sister Faustina's representation of Jesus of Divine Mercy
The Diving Mercy painting by Adolf Hyla (1943).The polish writing at the bottom means "Jesus I trust in you"


Race of Jesus
Salvator Mundi
Christ the Redeemer (statue)
Christ the Redeemer (icon)
The Last Supper (Leonardo)
Michelangelo's Pietà
Holy card
Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena

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