Jesus in Art Across Centuries and Continents

Explore Many Faces of Jesus

Here is a pdf/PowerPoint of Jesus in catacomb frescos, mosaics, paintings, icons, graffiti, and more. I did my best to find images that reflected different cultural and theological understandings of Jesus with different physical features and skin tones. I also tried to find examples from different periods of history. In Jesus’ day, Jews prevalently believed that depicting any human or animal figure violated the commandment against making images. So, the earliest images of Jesus that we’ve found are from about the mid-third century.

Image credit from left to right: (1) “Our Lady of Tenderness of Starorusskaya,” artist unknown, Russia, 13th century. (2) “Diptych with Mary and Her Son Flanked by Archangels, Apostles, and a Saint,” by Follower of Fre Seyon, Ethiopia, 15th century. (3) “Nativity in the Desert” by Sâdeq Mêg, Iran, c. 1595. (4) “Madonna and Child,” by David Zelenka, America, 2005.

I hope this is useful for worship, discussion, or meditation. Like everything I provide here on So Much Bible, it is under creative commons license, which means you can use it as long as you attribute me, and don’t sell it. The images were labelled creative commons in the sources where I found them. Please credit the artists accordingly. Blessings!

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