The Image of Christ

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9781857092929: The Image of Christ

The Image of Christ expresses the view that modern secular audiences can engage with the masterpieces of Christian art at an emotional as well as a purely aesthetic or historical level. This book aims to help the viewer understand these pictures by focusing attention on the purpose for which they were made, and explores what they might have meant to their original viewers.

The authors trace how a recognizable image of Christ evolved, starting with the earliest symbols and metaphorical images such as the Sheperd, the Lamb and the Vine. They trace the emergence of a "true likeness," emphasizing the importance of the Veronica, the "miraculous portrait" said to have been imprinted on the cloth held out to Jesus on the way to Calvary. They describe how artists conveyed the paradox of Christ's dual nature—human and divine, weak and powerful, victim and victor—in portrayals of his infancy. They also show how images of Christ's suffering during the Passion were intended to convey a cosmic, not just a personal significance. Artists have attempted to put extremes of suffering and despair into an overal context of hope–a vein of hope that runs from the catacombs to Hiroshima and beyond.

These are images that speak, even to those who do not hold Christian beliefs. Artists had to make it clear that in representing the life and death of Jesus they were offering a continuing truth; we the spectators have to become eyewitnesses to an event that matters to us now. As a result, the different moments and aspects of Christ's life become, in the hands of great artists, a reflection of all human experience. The Virgin nursing her son expresses the feelings of love every mother has for her child. Christ mocked in innocence beset by violence. Christ risen and appearing to Mary Magdalene is a universal reaffirmation that love cannot be destroyed by death. Beyond their obvious religious significance, these are paintings that have a universal meaning.   

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Review:

The Image of Christ by Gabriele Finaldi is a beautifully illustrated, colorful history of how Christ has been portrayed by artists from the early church to the present. It is not, however, a life of Christ told in pictures. Instead, the book explores the challenges Christian artists have faced as they have tried to imagine what Jesus looked like. Since no eyewitness descriptions of Jesus' physical appearance survived, the earliest artists' depictions of Christ played on the symbols and images that he used in his parables--such as the Good Shepherd, the Light, and the Vine. Later, artists became concerned with capturing Christ's true physical likeness, based on miraculous relics such as the cloth that Saint Veronica offered him on his way to Calvary, which was believed to be imprinted with an image of his face. These stages in the history of Christian art are described by several art historians in brief essays, each of which is lavishly illustrated. The book, which was inspired by Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ, an exhibition at the National Gallery, London, will be treasured by secular and believing readers alike. A deeper understanding of the religious context of these works will sharpen viewers' experience of their universal relevance. The dozens of pictures, paintings, and sculptures reproduced here bear profound witness not only to the events of Jesus' life, but also to the enduring power of a mother's love for her children, the suffering of innocents, and love's triumph over death. --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author:

Gabriele Finaldi is Deputy Director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, and a former curator ofthe National Gallery, London. Neil MacGregor is Director of the British Museum, London and former director of the National Gallery, London. Susanna Avery-Quash is Research Curator in the History of Collecting at the National Gallery, London. Xavier Bray is Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, and a former Curator at the National Gallery, London. Erika Langmuir is former Head of Education at the National Gallery, London. Alexander Strugis is Director of The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath.

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Gabriele Finaldi, Neil MacGregor
Published by National Gallery Company Ltd, United Kingdom (2011)
ISBN 10: 1857092929 ISBN 13: 9781857092929
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Book Description National Gallery Company Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Image of Christ expresses the view that modern secular audiences can engage with the masterpieces of Christian art at an emotional as well as a purely aesthetic or historical level. This book aims to help the viewer understand these pictures by focusing attention on the purpose for which they were made, and explores what they might have meant to their original viewers. The authors trace how a recognizable image of Christ evolved, starting with the earliest symbols and metaphorical images such as the Sheperd, the Lamb and the Vine. They trace the emergence of a true likeness, emphasizing the importance of the Veronica, the miraculous portrait said to have been imprinted on the cloth held out to Jesus on the way to Calvary. They describe how artists conveyed the paradox of Christ s dual nature-human and divine, weak and powerful, victim and victor-in portrayals of his infancy. They also show how images of Christ s suffering during the Passion were intended to convey a cosmic, not just a personal significance. Artists have attempted to put extremes of suffering and despair into an overal context of hope-a vein of hope that runs from the catacombs to Hiroshima and beyond. These are images that speak, even to those who do not hold Christian beliefs. Artists had to make it clear that in representing the life and death of Jesus they were offering a continuing truth; we the spectators have to become eyewitnesses to an event that matters to us now. As a result, the different moments and aspects of Christ s life become, in the hands of great artists, a reflection of all human experience. The Virgin nursing her son expresses the feelings of love every mother has for her child. Christ mocked in innocence beset by violence. Christ risen and appearing to Mary Magdalene is a universal reaffirmation that love cannot be destroyed by death. Beyond their obvious religious significance, these are paintings that have a universal meaning. This is a reissue of a book originally publd in 2000. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781857092929

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Book Description National Gallery Company Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Image of Christ expresses the view that modern secular audiences can engage with the masterpieces of Christian art at an emotional as well as a purely aesthetic or historical level. This book aims to help the viewer understand these pictures by focusing attention on the purpose for which they were made, and explores what they might have meant to their original viewers. The authors trace how a recognizable image of Christ evolved, starting with the earliest symbols and metaphorical images such as the Sheperd, the Lamb and the Vine. They trace the emergence of a true likeness, emphasizing the importance of the Veronica, the miraculous portrait said to have been imprinted on the cloth held out to Jesus on the way to Calvary. They describe how artists conveyed the paradox of Christ s dual nature-human and divine, weak and powerful, victim and victor-in portrayals of his infancy. They also show how images of Christ s suffering during the Passion were intended to convey a cosmic, not just a personal significance. Artists have attempted to put extremes of suffering and despair into an overal context of hope-a vein of hope that runs from the catacombs to Hiroshima and beyond. These are images that speak, even to those who do not hold Christian beliefs. Artists had to make it clear that in representing the life and death of Jesus they were offering a continuing truth; we the spectators have to become eyewitnesses to an event that matters to us now. As a result, the different moments and aspects of Christ s life become, in the hands of great artists, a reflection of all human experience. The Virgin nursing her son expresses the feelings of love every mother has for her child. Christ mocked in innocence beset by violence. Christ risen and appearing to Mary Magdalene is a universal reaffirmation that love cannot be destroyed by death. Beyond their obvious religious significance, these are paintings that have a universal meaning. This is a reissue of a book originally publd in 2000. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9781857092929

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Book Description National Gallery London, 2011. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. Rather than presenting a life of Christ in art, this book explores the challenges facing artists when representing Jesus - God who became a man. It traces how the image of Christ that we recognize today evolved over two millennia, from the earliest metaphorical symbols of the Shepherd, the Lamb, and the Vine to the emergence of a 'true likeness'. Series: National Gallery London. Num Pages: 224 pages, 182 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: ACB; AGR; HRC. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 253 x 253 x 15. Weight in Grams: 982. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781857092929

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Book Description National Gallery London. Book Condition: New. 2011. Paperback. Rather than presenting a life of Christ in art, this book explores the challenges facing artists when representing Jesus - God who became a man. It traces how the image of Christ that we recognize today evolved over two millennia, from the earliest metaphorical symbols of the Shepherd, the Lamb, and the Vine to the emergence of a 'true likeness'. Series: National Gallery London. Num Pages: 224 pages, 182 colour illustrations. BIC Classification: ACB; AGR; HRC. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (UP) Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly; (UU) Undergraduate. Dimension: 253 x 253 x 15. Weight in Grams: 982. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781857092929

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