This means that the oldest paintings depicting Jesus will help provide valuable insights into the extremely diverse icon styles of the places, places, and people that have made the community. the first group of Christians.
Jesus and lion canvas. Here is a list of six of the oldest paintings known to historians, depicting Jesus:
1. Alexamenos fresco, 1st century AD
This fresco depicting a man looking at a donkey-headed man being nailed to a cross was carved on a stucco wall in 1st century Rome. If you are confused or offended by what is said, painted, that’s because, this fresco was not painted to celebrate Jesus, but was painted to mock them. In the first century, Christianity was not an official religion, and most Romans viewed its followers with suspicion. This fresco was probably painted to tease a certain believer named Alexander, with the implication that he worshiped a God “with the head of a donkey”. The description that accompanies the painting actually reads like this: “Alexandro is worshiping his God.” And the fact that “Alexander’s Lord” was indeed crucified makes it all the worse when in the first century the penalty of crucifixion was reserved for felonies.
2. The Good Shepherd, III century
Although the Gospels do not describe to us what Jesus’ physical appearance was like, they provide many metaphorical descriptions of him. Perhaps the most impressive metaphor is the Good Shepherd metaphor. In the Gospel according to John (10:11 and 10:14), Jesus affirms: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” No wonder, then, that many early Christian painters used the image of a shepherd to depict Christ. And most of them have done so, by combining models of pastoral figures typical of contemporary Greek and Roman painting. This painting, painted on the wall of the catacombs of Saint Callisto, depicts Jesus carrying a lamb on his shoulders, like the rather typical figure of the “moskophoros” (meaning lamb-carryer), which was present in Greek painting as early as 570 BC.
3. The painting of Magi prostrating to the Son, 3rd century
Another image of Jesus in the New Testament is the one described in the visit and prostration of the Magi, described in the Gospel according to Matthew 2:1-12. God’s “epiphany” is one of the most frequently cited descriptions of the life of Jesus, in the days of the early Christians. The painting of the Magi bowing to the Child, carved on a stone sarcophagus in the 3rd century, is now kept in the Vatican Museums, Rome.
4. Healing of the Paralytic, III century
One of the miracles of Jesus recounted in the Gospels — Mt 9, 1-8, Mk 2, 1-12 and Lk 5:17-26 — says that he healed a paralytic at Ca. Phaknaum, a city in Israel at that time. Since then, this narrative has become a recurring theme in Christian iconography. This painting depicting the healing of a paralytic, dating from the 3rd century, was found above a baptismal well in a long-abandoned church in Syria. This is one of the oldest depictions of Christ known to historians.
5. Christ between Saints Peter and Paul, 4th century
This painting of Christ, dating from the 4th century, depicts him sitting between Peter and Paul. It was painted in the Catacombs of Saints Marcellinus and Saint Peter on the Labicana in Rome, near the palace of Emperor Constantine. Below the three main figures of the painting — Jesus, Saint Peter, and Saint Paul — we find four more figures: Saint Gorgonius, Saint Peter, Saint Marcellinus, and Saint Tiburtius, the four martyrs who were buried. in this catacomb, and they are depicted pointing to the Lamb of God on his heavenly throne.
6. Christ Pantocrator, VI century
Pantocrator in Greek means “one who has power over all people and all things”. This is the way of translating the Old Testament Hebrew expressions of God, such as “Lord of hosts” (Sabaot) and “The Almighty” (El Shaddai), into Greek. . To express such sublime qualities, the Byzantine iconographers used various symbols, allegorical features, for example, the open right hand, indicating power and authority. This painting is the oldest work on the theme of “The Almighty Christ” in the world. The different expressions on the left and right sides of Jesus’ face probably allude to his dual nature, being both divine and human. This painting was painted on a wooden panel around the 6th or 7th century and is kept in the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai, Egypt, one of the oldest monasteries in the world.