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New Testament

He is undoubtedly the most famous man who ever lived. And insofar as art is concerned, He's the most recreated figure to ever flow from the minds of artists over the past 20 centuries. And regardless of your religious background, or lack of one, He's certainly had a profound effect, directly and indirectly in all our lives. Cities are named after Him, books, paintings, sculpture, movies, music, plays, TV, poetry, and of course the Bible all proclaim His life and teachings. Yet everything we know visually about this Man has come from the minds of artists. The Bible gives little, if any, description of Him except to say that there was nothing physically about Him that would attract attention. I guess we could infer from this that He was fairly ordinary looking, though artists have done their best down through the ages to depict Him as anything but.

Perhaps the most interesting element in the depiction of Jesus of Nazareth by some of the greatest artists of the past two thousand years is the incredible diversity in their images. Much of this diversity can be labelled a matter of style. Not surprisingly, two millennia have seen painting styles change enormously, and Christ is present in all of them. From the oldest ceiling images of the Good Shepherd surviving in the catacombs of Rome to the most recent portrait competition fostered by the Catholic church, there is a style and interpretation of Jesus to fit nearly everyone's image of the Man. Perhaps not ALL, but very nearly every major artist who ever lived has turned his hand to the subject, whether painting a portrait image or in some way telling the story of His life. And what they have rendered makes for one of the most fascinating studies any art lover could pursue.

We see Christ as a thousand artists have seen Him. We see the enormous Christ-figure towering over Rio de Janeiro, the sculptures of Michelangelo, the paintings of Rembrandt, el Greco, Rubens, Masaccio, Titian, Raphael, Leonardo, as well as dozens of visions of unknown artists. Many are of Christ as a child. Some are sweet, some touching, some are almost unbearably elegant, others grossly ugly. Some are uplifting, others are deeply distressing. Yet all are moving in their own way.

contributed by Lane, Jim

15 March 2001

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Madonna, an Angel and Little St John Adoring the Child (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci (Perugino))
Adoration of the Magi (Domenico Veneziano)
Adoration of the Magi (Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto))
Adoration of the Magi (Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi (Ghirlandaio))
Adoration of the Magi (Corrado Giaquinto)
Adoration of the Shepherds (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn)
Annunciation (Giovanni Battista Pittoni)
Annunciation (Bartolommeo di Pagola del Fartorino (Fra))
Annunciation (Leonardo da Vinci)
Annunciation (Tiziano Vecelli (Titian))
Assumption of the Virgin (Antonio Allegri Correggio)
Baptism of Christ (Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco))
Charge to Peter (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci (Perugino))
Christ Adored by Two Nuns (Alessandro Magnasco)
Christ Among the Doctors (Albrecht Dürer)
Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (Max Beckmann)
Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple (Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco))
Christ on the Cross (Albrecht Altdorfer)
Circumcision and Nativity (Bartolommeo di Pagola del Fartorino (Fra))
Crowning with Thorns (Tiziano Vecelli (Titian))
Crucifix (Cenni di Pepi (Cimabue))
Deposition from the Cross (Antonio Allegri Correggio)
Dolce Far Niente (John William Godward)
Domine quo vadis? (Annibale Carracci)
Expulsion of the Money-changers from the Temple (Giotto di Bondone)
Fall of the Rebel Angels (Peter Paul Rubens)
Feast in the House of Levi (Paolo Caliari (Veronese))
Gipsy Madonna (Tiziano Vecelli (Titian))
Goodnight (Arthur Hughes)
Herod's Feast (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello))
Jupiter and Thetis (Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres)
Knight of the Sun (Arthur Hughes)
Last Judgment (Michelangelo de Buonarotti)
Madonna and Child (Domenico Veneziano)
Madonna and Child (Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael))
Madonna and Child with Cherubs (Andrea Mantegna)
Madonna dal Collo Lungo (Girolamo Francesco Mazolla (Parmigianino))
Madonna Enthroned with the Child between St. Francis and St. Liberal (Giorgio Barbarelli (Giorgione))
Madonna in Glory with the Child and Saints (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci (Perugino))
Madonna of the Goldfinch (Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael))
Madonna of the Magnificat (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi (Botticelli))
Madonna with St. Jerome (Antonio Allegri Correggio)
Madonna with the Cut Pear (Albrecht Dürer)
Maestà (Cenni di Pepi (Cimabue))
Magdalen (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci (Perugino))
Marriage of the Virgin (Giotto di Bondone)
Martha and Mary Magdalene (Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio))
Mary Magdalene (Anthony Frederick Sandys)
Mary with the Child (Albrecht Altdorfer)
Nativity (Antonio Allegri Correggio)
Noli me tangere (Tiziano Vecelli (Titian))
Noli me tangere (Giotto di Bondone)
Noonday Rest (John William Godward)
Ognissanti Madonna (Giotto di Bondone)
Pietà (Michelangelo de Buonarotti)
Pietà (Tiziano Vecelli (Titian))
Pietà (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci (Perugino))
Presentation at the Temple (Andrea Mantegna)
Prison Scene (Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes)
Saint Dominic Adoring the Crucifixion (Guido di Pietro (Fra Angelico))
San Giovenale Triptych (Tommaso Cassai (Masaccio))
Serena (Arthur Hughes)
St Mary Magdalen (Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello))
Star of Bethlehem (Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones)
Stuppach Madonna (Matthias Grünewald)
The Adoration of the Christ Child (Bartolommeo di Pagola del Fartorino (Fra))
The Adoration of the Magi (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi (Botticelli))
The Adoration of the Magi (Peter Paul Rubens)
The Adoration of the Shepherds (Francisco de Zurbarán)
The Annunciation (Guido di Pietro (Fra Angelico))
The Annunciation (Guido di Pietro (Fra Angelico))
The Betrothed (John William Godward)
The Colossus (Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes)
The Conjuration (Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes)
The Coronation of the Virgin (Fra Filippo Lippi)
The Death of the Virgin (Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio))
The Deposition of Christ (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano (Bronzino))
The Esquilache Riots (Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes)
The Granduca Madonna (Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael))
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun (William Blake)
The Holy Family with the Infant St. John in a Landscape (Bartolommeo di Pagola del Fartorino (Fra))
The Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci)
The Last Supper (Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto))
The Laundress (Jean-Baptiste Greuze)
The Light of the World (William Holman Hunt)
The Madonna and Child with Saints (Domenico Veneziano)
The Miracle of Christ Healing the Blind (Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco))
The Mocking of Christ (Matthias Grünewald)
The Nativity (Robert Campin)
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (William Blake)
The Return of the Prodigal Son (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn)
The Sacrament of the Last Supper (Salvador Dali)
The Small Crucifixion (Matthias Grünewald)
The Tease (John William Godward)
The Third of May, 1808 (Francisco José de Goya Y Lucientes)
The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen (Robert Campin)
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (Leonardo da Vinci)
The Wicked Son Punished (Jean-Baptiste Greuze)
The Yellow Christ (Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin)
Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (Francis Bacon)
Tribute Money (Tommaso Cassai (Masaccio))
Trinity (Tommaso Cassai (Masaccio))
Virgin and Child (Hans Holbein (the Elder))
Virgin of the Rocks (Leonardo da Vinci)
Virgin with the Child (Fra Filippo Lippi)
We hail the Mary (Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin)


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