The Image of Christ Catalogue of the Exhibition "Seeing Salvation" Gabriele Finaldi, Neil MacGregor, Susanna Avery-Quash, Xavier Bray, Erika Langmuir, Neil McGregor, Alexander Sturgis

National Gallery London
Publication date:
29 Feb 2000
224 pages: 248 x 248 x 20mm
182 colour illustrations

Rather than presenting a life of Christ in art, this beautiful book explores the challenges facing artists when representing Jesus - God who became a man. It traces how the image of Christ that we recognize today evolved over two millennia, from the earliest metaphorical symbols of the Shepherd, the Lamb, and the Vine to the emergence of a 'true likeness'. The book elegantly describes how artists have conveyed the paradox of Christ's dual nature - human and divine, weak and powerful - in portrayals of his infancy, and it also shows how images of his suffering convey a cosmic, as well as personal, significance. The moments of Christ's life become, through art, archetypes of all human experience: Christ nursed by the Virgin expresses the feelings of love every mother has for her child; Christ mocked is innocence beset by violence. A reissue of a successful book (first published in 2000), "The Image of Christ" is an essential volume for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of European art, in which Christian subjects have featured so prominently.

Gabriele Finaldi is deputy director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, and a former curator at the National Gallery, London. Neil MacGregor is director of the British Museum and former director of the National Gallery, London. Susanna Avery-Quash is research curator in the History of Collecting at the National Gallery, London. Xavier Bray is chief curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery and a former curator at the National Gallery, London. Erika Langmuir is former head of education at the National Gallery, London. Alexander Sturgis is director of The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath, UK.

"...a good, solid, intellilgent and well-produced book."—Liz James, Times Higher Education

"With its comprehensive catalogue entries, clear illustrations and overall high quality of presentation this catalogue would be a welcome addition to any library."—Vivien Northcote, The Art Book

"Engaging . . . a novel approach to [a] seemingly familiar subject . . . insightful."--Jeremy W. H. Arnold, Religious Studies Review

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