Religion In Art

In this gallery I have selected art that included a religious depiction of the God of the respective religion usually with a face from different cultures as well. I selected the art because i wanted to demonstrate the inner workings of religions and how they depict their gods according to different stories from their culture and in what different ways. Most of the art is selected before the 1700's. This is to really get into the way that it was depicted when religion and art were often put together in the same piece.

In this piece, christianity is depicted with Jesus having just been removed from the cross before being taken to the tomb. He is depicted with the people he was closest to while on earth. John the Evangelist is depicted in the red, with all three Mary's that Jesus was close with surrounding him as well. Mary the mother of christ is seen cradling the head. I selected this piece because it dives into one of the biggest aspects of the christian faith and that is the resurrection of Christ, after he died on the cross for our sins. But from this we see many aspects of christian faith life. One of these is Love. Here christ is also depicted with a human face.
Here we have John the Baptist, pictured with his iconic staff, depicted as the darker image baptizing christ who almost appears incredibly pale. As usual there always seems to be an aspect of something with a brilliant red color to allude to the Passion of Christ. I chose this piece because, like the first image of christianity, it does a good job of depicting a story of the christian faith. It also depicts the religious figure with a face. Someway to picture christ without having to look at a painting.
Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from a language where it means feathered serpent. As we can see from the sculpture title, this is the Mesoamerican god being depicted as such. The feathered serpent deity. I chose this piece because i wanted to involve religions/gods that aren't immediately recognizable, but still depict their god in some way with some kind of physical face.
Here is another stone bust of the feathered serpent deity Quetzalcoatl again depicted with a face. Again the sculpture is depicted as what his name means. His coils are covered with feathers. I chose this piece to again illustrate the depiction of a face given to a god even though most times a specific face cannot be pinpointed to a certain god.
Here is a depiction of a statue of buddha from the late 12 century. When we look at the pose buddha is depicted with, we see his feet upturned, the left hand in its usual resting place for meditation. but here the right hand is outstretched fingers touching the ground to gesture the earth to witness his resistance of the temptations of the spirit of evil. I chose this piece because like the previous pieces its a different religion that also gives their god an actual face. Something to picture when you think about buddha.
Here is another depiction of buddha. Here buddha has a different hand gesture, according to this hand gesture it reveals the buddha to be preaching a sermon in which he explains the four noble truths of human existence and the path to enlightenment. I chose this piece because when compared to the other buddha piece although from the same culture they are both depicted with different styles. Still given faces but their bodies are not identically portrayed. They are similar as both of them are seen in a position of meditation. But just by the placement of their hands mean totally different things.
Shiva is one of the most iconic hindu divinities. Here depicted as nataraja which is the lord of the dance. Dance in this instance refers to the rhythm of life and death. Each hand and foot have significant meaning to them and where they are placed. The figure is standing on something which also symbolizes something as well. The ring of fire around the figure represents something. The hair in which the figure has means something, but the face in which it is given doesn't mean anything but it is still depicted with one. This is why i chose this piece, with all the symbolism surrounding the figure for there to be nothing symbolized with the face.
Here we have the islamic depiction of the prophet muhammad's ascent to heaven. I chose this piece as my counter example because with all of the other religions i examined this was the only religion that gave no depiction to the face of the prophet. The prophet is veiled in accord with iconography adopted at the beginning of the Safavid period in the early 1500's. Islam culture quit depicting his face because they wanted the followers of the islamic faith to not worship false idols. They quit giving the prophet a face to limit people being distracted from praying to their god rather than a painting of him.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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