Images of Christ.
Do we know the basic idea of Christ? In the East, specific icons have the title “proper form, uncreated. The title is related to the legend of King Ab gar of Mesopotamia, who allegedly received an imprint Jesus’ faces on the veil. Veronica is in the West tradition. Recently, reproductions of Christ have been spreading faces from the Shroud of Turin. However, the first images of Christ of the catacombs are typological and symbolic. The images are associated with a theological problem. The first Christians wondered if it was for them useful also to read the Old Testament, once it has been overcome the new law. The answer was yes. This is useful because sacred history is symbolic
value. Thus Adam, the first man, the lord of paradise, is an image of the second Adam, Christ, in the kingdom of God. Moses is the deliverer of the people from slavery and their legislator; Christ frees us from spiritual slavery and is the author of the New Testament of love. Abraham, who sacrifices his son Isaac is an image of God.
A Father who offers the sacrifice of his son. Noah saves your people before the flood in the ark, in the same way, saves Christ, the believer in the church. Daniel remains untouched in the lion’s den; Christ is risen from the dead from the kingdom of the deceased. David establishes the earthly kingdom, Christ’s spiritual kingdom, etc.
These analogies used to be in Gothic cathedrals developed in two series of images: in the bottom row, there were scenes from the Old Testament; in the upper case, analogous scenes from the Gospel. However, a similar typology can also be used in the Christian life. It is made up of many materials, “worldly” events: we work, we associate
with friends, we suffer adversity. If we find in them a resemblance to the life of Jesus, everything acquires a spiritual meaning; the Christian thus becomes the “second Christ.” In the catacombs, we also find purely symbolic One’s depiction of everyday life: the figure of the good shepherd, helmsman who controls a boat, a fisherman who nets catch fish, teachers with pupils. Obviously, all these figures can remind us of Christ and his father’s work. But even the virtues he taught can be represented by a concrete image: the anchor is hope, the prince a faith, the mythical bird phoenix is a memory of paradise, letters alpha and omega are interpreted according to the text from the book of Revelation (21,6). It is said that it was evident to poets world big forest symbol. Christian mystics are poets in the best sense of the word. All that they look at reminds them of Christ. When the church came out of the catacombs and began to build temples, the first image of Christ as a person appeared.
The first is the famous Pantocrator, Christ the King, ruler, almighty. He sits on the imperial throne with everyone insignia of their power over people and over the elements and laws of the universe (shown as a rainbow under the feet and Savior). It is a profession of faith: he who was crucified by the mighty of this world is the ruler of heaven and earth.
The Roman emperors demanded divine for their respect. However, there is only one true God-Man. Domes cathedrals have long dominated this painting. In the Middle Ages, there was a significant change in particular under the influence of Franciscan piety. Christ appears as suffering on the cross, on the way of the cross, by the pillar
whipping. It was because there was no doubt about the divinity of Christ, but it was beginning to be forgotten, that he suffered, that he bore the weaknesses of human nature. However, not to forget the divine appearance, the artists tried to keep the balance even from an iconographic point of view. We can see it, for example, in the famous
of the Cross of St. Francis. Christ appears there as crucified, but at the edges at the top of the cross are drawings depicting scenes of glorification: ascension, transfiguration, etc. It is good to meditate on the suffering of the Savior, but it must not be forgotten that it is also
divine, and therefore glorious.
The Christ of Renaissance artists is sometimes criticized like a worldly, like an athlete, beautiful figures without religious features. It certainly depends on the individual painters. But even here, after all, there is a theological idea. We do not see in Christ the perfect, an ideal man who realizes all ideals’ humanity?
In the Baroque period, Christ appears as the One with whom we have a conversation. They are displayed Revelation to various saints and saints. The cult of Jesus, the Child, facilitates an intimate relationship with the One who seemed relentless in Michelangelo’s performance at the Sistine Chapel Judge.
And in modern art? However, there is a great variety; one motive seems to prevail: Christ in everyday life, as a worker, as a pilgrim, etc.
Perhaps this tendency does not correspond to the spiritual program of Theresa of Lisieux, her “little path of love,” perfection in daily work?
There are also many films about the life of Christ. It’s much harder than you usually think. The movie cannot be limited to still images. The dynamics of the inner development of the heroes give them artistic strength. But what we know or what we can guess how is the inner life of the God-Man going on? The addition too realistic rendition of scenes from the Gospel loses an ecstatic view of the divine side. Because of that Nowadays, icons and images are increasingly appreciated Eastern Church, where this feature is sacred strongly emphasized.
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