1 & 2 Thessalonians
Beginning the Journey (for new Christians)
1, 2, and 3 John
1 & 2 Timothy
2 Peter, Jude
7 Last Words of Christ
Christ Powered Life (Rom 5-8)
David, Life of
Jesus and the Kingdom
Lamb of God
Names of God
Sermon on the Mount
Year of St. Paul
Portraits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
There are no contemporary portraits of Jesus. No one knows for sure what he looked like when he walked the dusty roads of Galilee and Judea in the First Century. But hundreds of artists have painted their own vision of what Jesus looked like. I've included some of the best of these here. I have avoided for the most part depictions of Jesus in the context of events of his life, which is a huge task by itself. Instead I have focused on portraits.
Christ Pantocrator ("All Ruling" or "Lord of All")
Christ Pantocrator, Monastery Church, Daphni, Greece, 11th century, mosaic.
Christ Pantocrator, Lord of All, is a characteristic icon of churches in the East. In the East, especially in India, the stupa, a square base surmounted with a dome, emerged as the basic architectural form for religious worship. This was adapted by the Eastern Byzantine Church and became the official architectural form for the Divine Liturgy. The square base represented the earth with its four corners and the circular dome the heavens above. At the center of the dome was the Christ, Jesus as Pantocrator, Lord of All. In many of these pictures, Christ with three-rayed halo, gives a sign of blessing with his right hand, and in his left hand holds the Bible. Often Christ has long, thin fingers. The letters IC and XC (with bars above them to represent a contraction) to the left and right of Jesus' face stand for IC (abbreviation of Jesus) and XC (abbreviation of Christos). (The C represents the Greek letter Sigma Σ). You can see literally hundreds of these icons by doing an image search on "pantocrator" in either Yahoo or Google. Here are some I particularly liked.
- Kariye Camii mosque. Byzantine church of St. Savior in Chora (now Kariye Camii mosque, Istanbul (14th century mosaics in ceiling)
Mosaic from the Deesis Panel of the South Gallery of the Hagia Sophia (1185-1204). Larger image.
- Monastery Church, Daphni, Greece, 11th century, mosaic
- Cathedral at Cefalù, Sicily (1148), mosaic
- St. Antony's Greek Orthodox Church, 778 S. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena, CA. Modern example of dome and Christ Pantocrator.
- Unknown artist, Christ Pantocrator
- Oldest icon of Christ Pantocrator, encaustic on panel, c. 6th century, St. Catherine's Monastery, Mt. Sinai. Larger.
- James J. Tissot, Christ Pantocrator, asp of convent church, Couvent de l'Annonciation, 222, rue du Faubourg-saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris.
Christ Pantocrator (1148 AD), mosaic, dome of Cathedral of Cefalù, Palermo, Italy. Larger image.
Christ in Majesty
A Western depiction of "Christ in Majesty" is similar to the eastern Christ Pantocrator. It is often found on the aspe of churches or above the door of a cathedral.
- Church of Sant'Angelo in Formis, Capua, Italy. 12th century fresco.
- Pisa, apse mosaic, Duomo, Pisa. Another.
- Tympanum over the central portal (west front) of the Chartes Cathedral, France. Christ in Majesty is flanked by four living creatures and the 24 elders of Revelation 4 and 5. Built 1145, burned (except the west front) 1194. Rebuilt 1205-1220.
- Christ in Majesty (781). Godescalc Manuscript.
- Christ in Majesty, stained glass window, Carmel of the Holy Trinity in Spokane, WA.
- Christ - the Patron of Prizren, The Church of the Holy Virgin of Ljevis, fresco.
- Christ, 5th century mosaic, survived the fire of 1823. Rome?
- Christ Mosaic, Ravenna (6th Century AD), large size
- Christ, Христос во славе (1895), Cathedral of Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg
Jesus the Good Shepherd
Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937), The Good Shepherd (1920), oil on canvas. The Newark Museum.
Head of Christ
Rembrandt Hamerszoon van Rijn (1606-1669), Dutch painter
- The Head of Christ (c. 1650-52), Oil on panel, 25 x 21.5 cm, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany. Another.
- Head of Christ, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
- Christ with Arms Folded ("a head of Christ, a study from life," c. 1657-1661), oil on canvas, 43" x 35.5", The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York
- The Resurrected Christ (1661), oil on canvas, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Heinrich Hoffman (German painter, 1824-1911)
- Christ At Thirty-Three,
- Christ's Image (1894), Riverside Church, New York
- Christ in Gethsemane (1890), Riverside Church, New York
- Christ and the Rich Young Ruler (1889), Riverside Church, New York
- Christ in the Temple (1871), Riverside Church, New York
Vladimir Makovsky (1846-1920), Jesus Christ (1893), Oil on canvas, 79 x 45 cm
Nikolai Kishelev, The Head of Christ (1880s). Face looking down.
Mihály MUNKÁCSY, Christ before Pilate (1880), Hungarian national Gallery, Budapest.
Fra Angelico, Head of Christ, wearing crown of thorns, bleeding with halo in back, red shirt.
Antonello Da Messina, Christ at the Column (1476), Musee du Lourve, Paris
Unknown, Jesus and Jairus' Daughter
Paul Delaroche (1797-1856), Study for the Head of Christ (c. 1834) for La Madeleine, Paris (Portrait of Eugène Buttura), National Gallaries of Scotland.
- Richard Hook (1914-1975), Head of Christ (sometimes mistakenly attributed to his wife, Frances Hook, who was also an artist).
- K. Madison Moore, Jesus Christ (2008), contemporary painter, wearing crown of thorns with sad blue eyes
- Peter V. Bianchi (1920-2000), Jesus of Nazareth (1955), Messenger Corporation
- Maxine Musgrave, Portrait of Jesus, drawing
- Bette Myers, The Masterpiece, potrait by (1984)
- Howard Chandler Christy, Head of Christ (Copyright renewed 1972, Abingdon Press)
- Ron Marsh, Head of Christ
- Feodor Rimsky, Christ's portrait, painted for the book cover of The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler.
- Mark Keathley, Portrait of Jesus
- Morgan Weistling (California illustrator and painter, 1964- ), "My Lord and My God," portrait, face of Jesus covered by a white hair covering (John 20:27-28).
Carl Heinrich Bloch (Danish painter, 1834-90), Christ and Staff, oil on canvas. Larger image.
Carl Heinrich Bloch (Danish painter, 1834-1890). Most paintings in The King's Prayer Chamber, National Historic Museum, Friederiksborg Castle/Palace, Hillerød, Denmark. also 111 paintings (some secular) in the Hope Gallery site.
- Christ and Staff with Soldiers, oil on canvas, altarpiece, Ordrup Church, Copenhagen.
- Christ and Staff without Soldiers, oil on canvas.
- Christ and Staff, Etching, Park City Gallery, Utah has an original.
- Christ and Thorns (eyes closed), Etching.
- Portrait of Christ (etching), National Historic Museum, Friederiksborg Palace, Hillerød, Denmark.
Head of Christ on the Cross
- Mark Cannon (contemporary artist), "Crown of Thorns"
- Albrecht Dürer, Head of the Dead Christ (1503), a drawing. The British Museum.
- Janet Flom, Corpus, Transfiguration Catholic Church, Oakdale, MN. Bronz cold cast crucifix. 15.5" x 24". David J. Hetland Liturgical and Public Art.
- Guido Reni, Ecce Homo (c. 1639), oil on canvas, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna. Often copied.
- Ludomir Slendinski (Polish painter, 1889-1980), "Christ" (1947), oil on canvas on plywood, 45 x 41 cm, Slendzinski Gallery, Bialystok.
- James J. Tissot, Man of Sorrows (1886-96), watercolor.
- Morgan Weistling, The Crucifixion.
Cristo-Rei, Alamada, Libson, Portugal
Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janerio
Various Portrait Collections
- Chemin d'Amour vers le Père, Le Christ Pantocrator
- Seeing Christ: Contemporary Artists Imagine Christ Today. The Words Gallery
- Black and Hispanic Christ Ethnic pictures of Jesus
- Icons of Jesus and the Saints by Ilina Filipova
- Russian art
Christian Art and Paintings:
Abraham Art | Agnus Dei Art | Angel Art | Annunciation Art |
Celtic Stone Cross Art |
Christian Symbols and Art |
Christmas Art |
Easter Art |
Passion of Christ
by Tissot |
Hebrew-Jewish Art | Holy Week Art | Jacob | Jesus' Ministry Art | Jesus' Teaching Art |
Jesus Portraits and Art | John the Baptist
| John the Apostle
| Lamb of God Art | Last Supper Art | Madonna & Child Art |
Moses and the
Exodus | Names of God Art | OT Misc Art | Psalms Art | Palm Sunday Art | Paul Art and Paintings | Day of Pentecost Art | Peter Art and Paintings |
Prayer Art | Resurrection Art | Revelation Art |
Thanksgiving and Pilgrims Art |
Timothy Art and Paintings
Copyright of artwork. Much, but not all, of the artwork linked to on this site is in the public domain worldwide due to the date of death of its author (if it is was published outside of the U.S. and the author has been dead for over 70 years), or due to its date of publication (if it was first made public in the U.S. before 1923), at least in the United States (see Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.), in Germany, and in many other countries.
Copyright © 1985-2013, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastorjoyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.
In-depth Bible study books
You can purchase one of Dr. Wilson's complete Bible studies in PDF, Kindle, or paperback format.
Other Bible Study Books
- 1, 2, and 3 John
- 1 Peter
- 2 Peter & Jude
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians
- 1 & 2 Timothy
- 2 Corinthians
- Abraham, Faith of
- Christ Powered Life (Romans 5-8)
- Christmas Incarnation
- Colossians and Philemon
- Great Prayers of the Bible
- Jacob, Life of
- Jesus and the Kingdom of God
- JesusWalk: Beginning the Journey
- Lamb of God
- Lord's Supper
- Luke's Gospel
- Moses the Reluctant Leader
- Names and Titles of God
- Resurrection and Easter Faith
- Sermon on the Mount
- Seven Last Words of Christ