The moments of jesus - Afiya Stokes

There is no more controversial figure in the world of history, art and literature than that of Jesus Christ. Perhaps it was His reputation for being a caring and loving prophet, the miracles that He performed, or His defiance against the aristocrats of His time that increased His popularity. What ever it was, Jesus has remained a prominent figure despite the passage of time. The theme of this gallery, is the moments of Jesus shown through the art of different artists. Many of the artwork based on the life of Jesus has been recreated hundreds of times, with each artist showing a unique perspective of the event. 

The Mother of God of Tenderness of the White Lake, Unknow, First half of the 13th century, From the collection of: The State Russian Museum
A portrait of mother and child symbolizes the strong connection between the two and a precious moment in time. This icon is a painting of Mary with the baby Jesus in an embrace while angels (pictured in the medallions) watch over the them. Despite the warm embrace, the faces of both mother and child take on the cold stare known in Byzantine art. The unknown Russian painter used texture to enhance the look of the clothing in the painting and give it a realistic look. Space was another formal element that was used in the form of the red aurora and the gold contrast to show the holiness of Mary and Jesus. There is a clear lack of proportion in the painting as Mary's head looks way too big in comparison to her hands. As well as, Jesus' awkward body proportions which makes Him look more like the body of a miniature man, than an actually baby.
Madonna and Child, Francesco SOLIMENA, c.1720s, From the collection of: Art Gallery of South Australia
This version of Mary and Jesus is Rococo style, which lively and more natural than that of "The Mother of God of Tenderness of the White Lake". Solimena's "Madonna and Child" depicts a mother swaddling her baby as angels look on. Viewers can easily imagine the movement of the baby and mother through the use of dynamic shape used to enhance the figure of the mother and baby, all the way down to the baby's chubby little fingers. Bright colors are used to emphasis mother and child against the backdrop. As compared to the first painting in this gallery, the proportion of all the figures in this painting are perfect. Francesco Solimena paid particular attention to form and the elements of shape, color and proportion in this piece which showed the warmth and connection of pair. Very little is known about Jesus' youth, so moments such as these help followers imagine the young life of the future Savior.
Jesus casts out the merchants, Alfonso Chierici, 1844/1844, From the collection of: Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia
Alfonso Chierci's neoclassical painting of Jesus casting merchants from a Jerusalem temple is based on the Biblical scriptures John 2:13 - 20. At this moment in scripture Jesus went into a fury turning over tables, whipping animals and merchants out of the temple. When looking at Chierci's version of the event, I see a calm, composed Jesus telling a mass of scattered merchants to leave the temple. With that aside, Chierci used color saturation and value to show the differences between the foreground and background in this piece. Jesus is the focal point of this painting with the most color saturation in his robe and is even eliminated by a heavenly glow. People surrounding Jesus had less saturation of color and those in the background even had deep shading to show the shadows casted by the large pillars. This piece displays the design elements of variety and movement as the layout of people in the room guides the eye throughout the disarray. This moment in Jesus' life one can see that Jesus would stop at nothing to get his message across, even if it angered some.
Christ Cleansing the Temple, Bernardino Mei, about 1655, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Bernardino Mei's "Christ Cleansing the Temple" is a scene of pure and utter chaos, which is a more fitting depiction of the John 2:13-20 scripture than Alfonso Chierici's painting. Line was used to show the emotions of outrage and surprise in the faces of the people as Jesus whips and pushes them out of the temple. The dynamic shape displayed here shows the quick movements in the scene of people grabbing things and running. The saturation of warm red and deep blue colors in Jesus' robe and sash emphasizes him as the focal point of this piece. The pure emotion of this piece is Baroque style which creates a more realistic scene of a outraged prophet tossing around a temple full of people. In this moment Jesus went from loving prophet to discipliner, ascertaining the strict adherence to the scriptures.
Christ Pantocrator, Unknown, circa 1680, From the collection of: Museum of Russian Icons
This icon of Jesus is from an unknown Russian artist. This is very much like the typical portrait of Jesus we often see. Jesus is posed looking ahead in his traditional garb, while holding a holy book in his left hand and his right posed as to give a blessing. Deep red, black and brown colors were used to paint Jesus' figure in great contrast to the bland cream-colored background. This helps emphasis the importance of Jesus in the piece. Texture is another formal element of art used through the curvy lines displaying the billowy texture of Jesus robe and coat. In the icons of Jesus we see him as a man who is holy and resolved at spreading the religious word.
Christ, King of Kings and High Priest, Unknown, c. 1500, From the collection of: Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Patmos, Greece
The "Christ, King of Kings and High Priest" painting displays Jesus Christ in all his glory. Unlike like the modesty displayed in "Christ Pantocrator", in this painting Jesus is shown wearing a jeweled crown and an elaborate robe with a patterned design. The space surrounding Jesus is often kept empty, but this painter chose to use it to boast of Jesus even more by writing around him. The frame in which the icon sits has a very detail border that varies along all four sides. This detailed woodwork adds variety to this icon. Though this icon was made to praise Christ, the lavish clothing and crown actually represent the affluence that Jesus preach against.
The Last Supper, Marten de Vos, Undated, From the collection of: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
The Last Supper is a well known moment in the life of Christ, at least artistically, thanks to Leonardo da Vinci's rendition. Many artists have recreated the scene in there own way, but as usual it includes Jesus and the 12 disciples gathered around a large dining table for supper. Marten de Vos' version of the Last Supper, uses vibrant colors add emphasis and to carry the viewers eye throughout the painting. Dynamic shape is used to show the motion of the disciples and Jesus as they eat and mingle. His use of proportion in the room and the people brings such a realistic look to the piece and shows the grand size and importance of the room. Though this painting is undated, it has the elements of the High Renaissance movement as much detail has been put into the form of the human body and vibrant colors. This moment in Jesus' life we see the camaraderie Jesus had with his disciples. He was not only their teacher, but a close friend.
In Jaume Huguet's version of the Last Supper, the emphasis is on the disciples and Jesus as the scene itself barely includes much else. We see 12 disciples and Jesus tightly huddled around a table eating and talking. Huguet used texture and color together in the clothes and the golden halos surrounding everyone's head. He also used balance by placing four disciples to each side of Jesus, as to emphasis Jesus in the middle. Compared to Marten de Vos' version of the Last Supper, Huguet chose to show grandness of the event in the gold colors throughout the painting versus proportion. Huguet's version of the Last Supper included gold leaf to show the holiness of the the disciples and Jesus, thereby giving it a unique touch to an important moment in the life of Jesus.
Christ on the Cross, El Greco (Domenico Theotokopoulos), 1600–1610, From the collection of: The J. Paul Getty Museum
This painting is rendition of probably the most well known moment in Jesus's life, his crucifixion. To his followers, this moment stands as the ultimate sacrifice Jesus would make for the world. As Jesus hangs on the cross he gazes towards the heavens, even as death is all around him. The dark value in the painting "Christ on the Cross" shows the emotions of sadness, depression and an almost hopelessness. The dark value absorbs light instead of reflecting it which adds to the thought that death is around Jesus. Domenico Theotocopuli also used the space surrounding Jesus to enhance the loneliness of death. Jagged lines are used to show the anxiety Jesus probably felt in the moment.
The Crucifixion, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1501, From the collection of: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien
Lucas Cranach the Elder painted his version on the crucifixion of Jesus with less focus on Jesus and more on the whole event. The painting shows Jesus and two thieves nailed to crosses, while loved ones mourn and soldiers look on. Compared to Domenico Theotocopuli's dark and depressing diction of Jesus hanging on the cross, this version is colorful and not as dreary. Cranach the Elder uses vibrant colors for the clothes of the people on the ground, as if he was trying to emphasis the crowd in the scene. The crucifixion is the defining moment in Jesus' life, in which he died for the sins of the world. Though this was the end of Jesus' life, his message would continue to spread across the world.
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