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Christ in Art - An Early Collection

Updated on July 2, 2013

Early Depictions of Jesus in Art

I have been a Christian my entire life. When young, I went to a Catholic church and was always enthralled with the different art and icons there. It amazed me that many artists since the time of Christ, chose to spin their own interpretation on the life of Christ. This included all the events from his birth, leading to his crucifixion and resurrection.

In the 1970's, I took a course in college on the History of art and up until that time, had no idea how many images there really were. In the collection on this website, I have assembled images depicting many key points in the life of Christ. While most are self-explanatory, please feel free to contact me and ask any questions you would like.

I hope you enjoy this trip to the art museum as much as I enjoyed hanging the art here!

Please comment below, I would love to hear from you!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Christ in Art

An abbreviated lesson

Images of Christ did not appear in the earliest Christian art and when they did, they mostly showed him as a shepherd or philosopher. This is because if you outwardly worshipped him, you could be persecuted. The images became more frequent and elaborate throughout the years.

The majority of Christian art and images of Christ appeared after the first century AD and were more elaborate and magnificent. This is what I hope to project in these images. This is my favorite Christian art and these depictions of Jesus are the ones I love the most.

Christ and his life was beautiful and magnificent. His sacrifice for us is depicted in this art as well as his journey on this earth as a man and the trials and temptations he faced. The colors of these paintings bring out the magnificence of his glory but nothing like being in his presence.

Please enjoy this website and let me know how I can improve it!

Head of Christ

Leonardo DaVinci - Circa 1494

Creative Commons Photo Credit

The Calling of St. Peter & St. Andrew - Domenico Ghirlandaio - Circa 1482

The Calling of St. Peter and St Andrew - Domenico Ghirlandaio
The Calling of St. Peter and St Andrew - Domenico Ghirlandaio

Christ the Redeemer - Titian - Circa 1533

Christ the Redeemer - Titian
Christ the Redeemer - Titian

Arrival of the Shepherds - Henri Lerolle

Arrival of the Shepherds - Lerolle
Arrival of the Shepherds - Lerolle

Repose in Egypt - Correggio - 1517

Repose in Egypt - Correggio
Repose in Egypt - Correggio

Christ in the Temple - Bernardino Luini - Circa 1515-1530

Christ in the Temple - Luini
Christ in the Temple - Luini

Christ Embracing Saint John

Guido Reni - Circa 1600's

Creative Commons Photo Credit

The Christ Child (with Holy Spirit) - Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo - Circa 1675

Christ Child with the Holy Spirit - Murillo
Christ Child with the Holy Spirit - Murillo

Baptism of Christ - Andrea del Verrocchio - Circa 1475

Baptism of Christ - Verrocchio
Baptism of Christ - Verrocchio

The Temptation of Christ - Ary Scheffer - 1854

Temptation of Christ - Scheffer
Temptation of Christ - Scheffer

Marriage at Cana - Paolo Veronese - Between 1571 and 1572

Marriage at Cana - Veronese
Marriage at Cana - Veronese

The Transfiguration - Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) - Between 1518 and 1520

The Transfiguration - Raphael
The Transfiguration - Raphael

The Light of the World - Holman Hunt - Between 1853 and 1854

The Light of the World - Holman Hunt
The Light of the World - Holman Hunt

Christ in Gethsemane

Heinrich Hofmann - 1890

Creative Commons Photo Credit

The Entry into Jerusalem - Fra Angelico - 1450

The Entry into Jerusalem Fra Angelico
The Entry into Jerusalem Fra Angelico

Christ Before Pilate - Mihály von Munkácsy - 1881

Christ Before Pilate Munckasy
Christ Before Pilate Munckasy

Veronica Veil - Gabriel Max - 1874

Veil of Veronica - Gabriel Max
Veil of Veronica - Gabriel Max

Christ Bearing the Cross - Sebastiano del Piombo - Date Unknown

Christ Bearing the Cross - Piombo
Christ Bearing the Cross - Piombo

Crucifixion - Peter Paul Rubens - 17th Century

Crucifixion - Rubens
Crucifixion - Rubens

Lamentation - Fra Bartolomeo - 1516

Lamentation - Bartolomeo
Lamentation - Bartolomeo

Pietà with Sts Francis and Mary Magdalen

Annibale Carracci - Between 1602 and 1607

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Supper at Emmaus - Rembrandt - 1648

Supper at Emmaus - Rembrandt
Supper at Emmaus - Rembrandt

The Ascension of Christ

Andrea Mantegna - Between 1460 and 1464

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by and God Bless!

Do you Enjoy Christian Art as Much as I Do? - Please leave us a comment anyway!

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    • recappers delight profile image

      recappers delight 23 months ago

      This is a really wonderful collection of paintings. I've been deeply interested in finding pictures of Jesus on the Internet, and you've got some great ones here. It's great to find another author as interested in sacred artwork as I am.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are truly wonderful treasures - to view, inspire, reflect that leads to thankful prayer and worship of our Wonderful Savior. Seeing the women that came to the cross reflects the love and sorrow they felt. We, too can remember all He has and is doing in our lives. Remembering the quote...."A picture is worth a thousand words." Thank your so much for this website.

      God's richest and best,

      Eve Knight

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      This is a beautiful lens. Thank you for all the great photos and artwork. Liked.

    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      One can never go wrong with Jesus...

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Lovely lens! My favorite subject Jesus. Being an artist I appreciate the painted interpretations through the centuries. I have only done one painting of Jesus. The older I get I find myself getting depressed when I visit and view some art in Europe's Museums, they are so dark and painful for me.

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • jaredsgirl profile image

      jaredsgirl 5 years ago

      Gorgeous pictures! Love this lens. If I could give it more than one like I definitely would. Super job!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I like the images, I think early art is beautiful and more lifelike. Thanks for sharing!

    • ChinaGal profile image

      ChinaGal 5 years ago

      Very nicely done lens:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens. The images very creative and interesting. Thank you for sharing your faith and this lens. God bless!

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @julieannbrady: I believe that he is holding up three fingers and it is some symbolism of the triumvirate. I think the peace sign is more modern but since he is the Prince of Peace, it would be most fitting!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Christian Art is very evocative and can bring out the best in people. It is curious to see that one picture of Jesus giving the victory sign!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Christian Art is very evocative and can bring out the best in people. It is curious to see that one picture of Jesus giving the victory sign!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is beautiful artwork, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love the art gallery of Christ, it is inspiring to see. Love You Jesus!

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, I love the art work especially the one of Christ praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Someday, we will see Christ face to face. Amazing.