This year for Holy Week, we asked you to share your favourite image of Christ and perhaps a little info on what the image means to you. These have been posted on Facebook and Instagram throughout the week but in case you missed any, here’s the full set.
In some cases, it has been tricky to credit the original artist but our aim is that, with or without their name, sharing their work is a continuation of their evangelism through art.
Pam Blewett chose Thomas Blackshear’s “Forgiven”
“I have one of these cards now rather crumpled on my desk under my pc screen. There is a poster in the chapel of HMP The Mount where I help on the Alpha course and I was given the card in the early days of joining the team. The description of the scene is very moving as you look closer. Jesus clutches the man and is not going to let go even though he still holds the mallet and nail.”
The artist has painted several versions of this with people of different genders and races in Christ’s embrace.
The Last Journey of Christ – a series of scenes in Agrigento, Sicily, photographed and nominated by Richard Beckingsale.
Both Alison & John Wheatley and Tina Edwards nominated the stained glass window at Buckfast Abbey. “The picture doesn’t do it justice – it’s REALLY big!” said Tina.
Heather Homan suggested two images:
Heather says “I don’t know whether this image of Christ by Charlie Mackesy had been given a title but I have called it “Such love”. To me there’s such a strong image of that love in Jesus’ embrace of a repentant or grieving believer. The cross in the background signifying His finished work.”
You may know Charlie Mackesy from his recent bestseller “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” and if you’ve read it, you’ll know that, without mentioning Him by name, he conveys the love of Christ so beautifully in words and sketches. What you may not know is that, until 2016, Charlie was an atheist! Since discovering Jesus, he has created many emotionally resonant Christian paintings and given talks for HTB (have a look on Youtube)!
About this second picture, Heather says: “I don’t know the artist but just love the joy that shines out of the picture. It makes me happy just to look at it.”
I couldn’t find the artist either but it seems to have a Spanish title “Jesus rie ninos”
Gaynor Houghton-Jones nominated Velazquez’s “Christ on the Cross”, which hangs in the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. There’s a fascinating talk by one of the museum’s curators about the painting on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxtwKVBtIIM&t=3s
Ann Sibley has fond memories of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” from Sunday school
Simon Edwards and Pat Hegarty chose William Holman Hunt’s “Light of the World”. This very famous painting (of which there are also several different versions) almost needs no introduction, but if you would like to know more about it, visit the website of its home: https://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/about/chapel/light-of-the-world/
Janet Cottrell nominated this painting of Jesus at Mary and Martha’s house. It illustrates a theme we have revisited many times during our Lifegroup sessions and Janet says “Here is my image of Christ. I’m Martha in the background, too busy to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen!”
The artist is Simon Dewey b.1962 in London who had a career in commercial illustration until “breaking through” with his Christian paintings in 1997. He now lives in Alberta, Canada.
Lastly, my own choice “The Lamentation of Christ” by Andrea Mantegna, painted about 1480.
The first time I saw this painting, I was in an art history talk. I had been going to church for a few years but was still finding my feet with the whole “Jesus actually died and then came back to life” thing.
The room was dark, this image came up larger than life on the projector screen and I shivered. Jesus looks really dead and all I could think was “It’s all true!”
Thank you to everyone who shared these images and their thoughts about them. Also the artists who created these amazing works. As part of the Live Lent study, we have been exploring what counts as “evangelism”. The thing that all of these images have in common is that they are an act of worship and evangelism in themselves. Through these images and no doubt many others dear to you, something of the Good News has been passed on and they were created to glorify God.
What do you like to create that could be your evangelism?
Big apologies to Deb Whittaker for omitting her selection from the series in Holy Week. Her choice is Country Garden with Crucifix by Gustav Klimt. Deb says “I like this because He is present, although almost hidden, in all the tangle and beauty of life.”