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MOJA- Museum of Jesus Art

Updated on April 2, 2013

Jesus in Art

As a Christian my enjoyment of art goes into another dimension when I see the works depicting Jesus. As an artist I can really appleciate the masters approach to illustrating different occurrences in his life. The Catholic Church was probably the most influential patron of the arts from early on and are responsible for the amazing art projects that would have never happened otherwise. Michelangelo, Leonardo, El Greco, Rubens and scores of other artists benefited from this fact, and we in turn get to reap the visual rewards. I put this lens together to celebrate this wonderful art.

Early Christian Mosaic

A directly forward facing view of Jesus was pretty common in early Christian art. This is seen in a variety of settings from early Roman cave paintings to Coptic paintings in Egypt. This one is from the Basilica di Sant'Apollinaire Nuovo in Ravenna, Italy, showing Christ giving a blessing with a similar gesture of the hand.

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Joseph Holding Jesus

Here is a painting by artist Guido Reni. It's estimated that it was painted in 1635 and was done in oil on canvas. It measures in at 126 x 101 centimeters which translates into 49.6 inches high by 39.7 inches wide. The painting can be seen at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. I love the way that he is looking at the child. :)

The Coronation of the Virgin

This very happy oil painting by the master painter Peter Paul Rubens is titled "Le Couronnement de la Vierge" or in plain old English "The Coronation of the Virgin". It seems to be celebrating the birth of Jesus in a little different way.

The actual painting can be seen at the Alte Pinakothek Museum in Munich, Germany. It was painted in oil on stretched canvas and is fairly large in size: 185 cm high x 210 cm wide. Translated into inches that would be 72.9 inches high by 82.6 inches wide. Rubens had a large atelier with many apprentices working on his backlog of commissions. He lived from 1577 til 1620.

The Adoration of the Magi

This rather complex painting is by the Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch. He lived from 1450 til about 1516 in the Netherlands. I always think of Bosch as the painter of those huge complicated, almost dreamlike paintings of heaven and hell with hundreds of little creatures in them. I was surprised when I found this one. Everything is painted rather flatly within the laws of perspective, which is kind of an oxymoron. The experts date the painting at around 1470 to 1475.

The painting itself was done in oil and gold leaf on a wooden panel. The dimensions are 71.1 cm high by 56.5 cm wide or 28 inches high by 22 1/4 inches wide. I like it!

The Life of Christ

"The Life of Christ" is one of those works that you'd like to spend some time viewing. There's something about these old paintings on gold leafed wooden panels that really appeal to me. This one is a triptych, (a painting that is done in three sections). The three panels, or sections are then broken up into sixteen more sections that each depict a chapter in the life of Jesus.

The work itself was painted in tempera on a gold ground. The following might be too much information regarding the actual dimensions: Central panel, overall, with engaged frame, 24 1/8 x 16 3/4 in. (61.3 x 42.5 cm), painted surface 20 5/8 x 14 3/4 in. (52.4 x 37.5 cm); left wing, overall, with engaged frame, 23 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (59.4 x 21 cm), painted surface 21 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (54.6 x 16.5 cm); right wing, overall, with engaged frame, 23 3/8 x 8 1/4 in. (59.4 x 21 cm), painted surface 21 1/2 x 6 1/4 in. (54.6 x 15.9 cm). There will be a test later.....:)

The artist is Giovanni Badile who lived from 1379 til 1451 in Verona, Italy.

My Favorite Painting of Jesus

This oil painting of Jesus is a total mystery to me. I found it online, but it had no references to the source. If any of you have information on it, I would love to hear about the painting and the artist.

The reason that I like it so much is the direct manner in which it was painted, the facial expression (a resolute look instead of the usual smile). I just like it :)

The Ghent Altarpiece

Could this be one of the world's most coveted paintings? There is an interesting story about this that you can see by clicking the image. We are talking about The Ghent Altarpiece also known as "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Jesus). The artist is: Jan van Eyck who lived from 1395 until 1441. The work was completed in 1432 and was created in oil on wood panel. The dimensions are 461 cm wide by 350 cm high ( or just over 15 feet wide by 11 feet 6 inches high).

Christ The Redeemer

I felt that it was time for a sculpture of Christ, a monumental one at that. This statue of Jesus was created in stone and marble by sculptor Paul Landowski from a design by Heitor da Silva. It was created over a five year period from 1926 until 1931.

It's really hard to get an idea of how large this one is without being there, but it is about the size of a 12 story building. In fact, there is a chapel located in the base of the sculpture that is big enough to hold 150 worshippers. This remarkable statue is located on a mountain peak right above the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Supper At Emmaus

Ok, it's Rembrandt's turn. Rembrandt is known for his mastery of light and mood in his paintings. I love the perfect composition in this one, the placement and scale of the figures and the way that the light hits the top of the table cloth and then bounces to their faces.

The title is "Supper at Emmaus" and it was painted in 1648 using oil on board. It's believed that Rembrandt may have been influenced by Titian on this one. The dimensions of the painting are 65 x 68 centimeters or 25.5 x 26.7 inches. It is housed at the Musee du Louvre in Paris, France.

El Greco Paints Jesus

El Greco's real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulous. Can you imagine signing documents with a handle like that? No wonder he changed it. El Greco had a definite flair for the dramatic in most of his works. This one is no exception. It is titled "The Miracle of Christ Healing The Blind". It shows Jesus anointing the eyes of a blind man, who is then healed.

The compositional structure of the painting is a large diamond shape that keeps bringing your attention back to Jesus. This shape is made up of the gesturing of the figures and is picked up by the clouds near the center top.

The painting was created in 1570 and its dimensions are 47 inches high x 57.5 inches in width. It is housed in Gallery 611 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Christ Asleep During The Tempest

When I first saw this painting I was surprised at the small size of the boat. I always pictured it as larger with Jesus sleeping below deck. The created is Eugene Delacroix, who lived from 1798 til 1863 in the vicinity of Paris. He painted this one in 1853 using oil on canvas. It's not very large (20 x 24 inches).

Delacroix loved this subject and painted a total of fourteen variations of it. "Christ is sleeping during a storm at sea and his disciples are terrified and wake him up. He reviles them for their lack of faith and then speaks to the storm and it stops". Van Gogh was very impressed by this particular painting and wrote to Eugene about it.

Another Rembrandt

In 1656 Rembrandt declared bankruptcy and was forced to organize his possessions, art works and furniture. His very aggressive creditors benefited greatly. The objects that they received were his sculptures, engravings, drawings, paintings and prints plus those of the greatest Italian and Flemish masters. It was an extensive collection.

This is one of the pieces that was in that inventory, titled "The Face of Jesus".

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The Last Judgement

This beautiful set of panels was done by Jan van Eyck (1395 - 1441). It was created in 1426 and was painted in oil on wood panels. It measures 55.6 cm high by 19.7 cm wide and is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

I am very impressed by the detailed, complex compositional devices that van Eyck used in these panels and especially like the rich colorations. I think that Hieronymus Bosch may have been heavily influenced by van Eyck. Just a thought.

Christ on The Cross

Peter Paul Rubens was nothing short of amazing. His depiction of the human figure and total understanding of all of the anatomical possibilities is almost beyond compare. This large painting is titled: "Christ on the Cross between the Two Thieves". Jesus has a conversation with one of the thieves and assures him that "that very day he would be with Him in Paradise.

The composition uses an upside down "V" shaped devise and there are characters gesturing that brings the eye back up into the picture. Rubens was known for his rich, bold colorations which are displayed here in abundance.

The painting was created between 1619 and 1620 and was done in oil on panel. It measures 14 feet high by just over 10 feet wide. It is located at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.

Dali's Version of The Crucifiction

Salvador Dali's depiction of the crucifiction of Jesus. I remember seeing this image as a child in the public library. I used to hang out in the art book section a lot, and this painting impressed me along with other of his works.

He called it "Christ of St. John of the Cross". Painted in 1951 using oil on canvas, it measures 205 cm tall à 116 cm wide (80.7 in tall à 45.67 in wide). Dali was the master of surrealism (beyond realism) and his total use of visual tools in this one reminds me of a conductor using all of the instruments available to him in his orchestra. The contrast between the horrific drama at the top pointing to the serene beautiful scene below, perhaps promising a heavenly reward for those who might follow Him. Click on the image for more information on

Michelangelo's Pieta

This one doesn't need a description as it is one of the most popular of Michelangelo's sculptures. You've seen it, I've seen it, and yet his skills still make it seem fresh each time I get an opportunity to see it. I actually did a small brush drawing of it a few years ago and sold it without getting a picture of it. Darn.

This great piece of sculpture is the first ever of Mary and Jesus after he was crucified, that shows Mary with a solemn face instead of a depressed sad face.

He created this sculpture out of marble and it measured:

174 cm à 195 cm (68.5 in à 76.8 in) . He must have thought highly of it since it's the only piece that he ever signed. It can be seen at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

Another Pieta by Bouguereau

A more recent master of painting was William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 - 1905). This might be his only "Religious" work as he is known mainly for his frolicking female nudes. It is worth close examination, however, as he was impeccably gifted in drawing, design and color.

This "Pieta" was painted in 1876 in oil on canvas. It was quite large: 230 cm high by 148 cm wide (or 7.5 feet tall by 4.85 inches wide). William was considered to be a Neo-Classisist painter. This remarkable painting can be seen at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, Texas.

The Resurrection - Albrecht Durer

I had to find a Albrecht Durer out there to include in this collection. I hadn't seen this one before. Durer is best known for his detailed drawing skills and print making talents. This one is an exceptional engraving.

Tissot's Version of The Resurrection

James Tissot lived from 1836 til 1902 and he created this small painting between 1886 and 1894. He used opaque watercolor over graphite on a paper that was grey woven. The painting measures 12.8 inches high by 8.3 inches wide, and is housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. His title for the painting was "La Resurrection". Click on the image to get more information on the artist.

MOJA - Guestbook Comments

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    • delia-delia profile image


      3 years ago

      Great Subject and Paintings! I have a painting very similar to the one "Guido Reni" painted. I also like the one that you chose as a favorite...but I don't think he would have looked that handsome, as there would have been a following just on his looks. Personally, I would bank on his heart and expressing himself. I'm so grateful to have Him in my life.

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @renagirl: Thanks Renagirl: Appreciate your looking at it. :)

    • renagirl profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful art and lens

    • jnstewart profile imageAUTHOR

      John Norman Stewart 

      5 years ago from Cottonwood, CA

      @Terrie_Schultz: Thanks Terrie: I'm glad you were the first one to comment on it and appreciate your Squidliking it too. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a fantastic selection of gorgeous art! Beautiful lens.


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