Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Warner Sallman and Jesus art

This painting of Jesus has to be one of the most iconic American paintings ever. Anybody ever seen this one hanging in a church or at your grandmother's house? How many people think of this very image when they picture Jesus? I do, or at least I did in the past. Anyways, I was curious to find out who painted this. Turns out that this was painted by a believing artist named Warner Sallman. Wikipedia says this about the man and the painting:

"Warner Sallman (1892 - 1968) was a Christian painter from Chicago. He worked as a freelance illustrator. His portrait of Christ, The Head of Christ, of which more than 500 million copies have been sold, is better known than he is, however the New York Times in 1994 called him the "best-known artist of the century". He also created commercial advertising images." (read the rest here).

There are lots of other visual representations of Jesus, some of which are really awesome, and some of which are really cheesy. In the category of 'awesome', a guy named Matt Stone has a whole host of paintings of Jesus and other Christian themes on his blog. They are paintings from many different cultures around the world. Its so neat to see how the rest of the world envisions Jesus.To the right is one really cool one of the baby Jesus and Mary his mother (try to guess what country its from).

There are other things out there however that I just think are cheesy like the paintings at www.art4god.com. The art itself is good, but come on, Jesus as a boxer? Jesus as a greaser? You be the judge.

And lastly (in my opinion), the most ridiculous and cheesiest of all Jesus art is a line of statuettes called Jesus is my Coach. You can get all the regular sports like basketball, football, and baseball, but you can also get Jesus the Martial Art Instructor, Jesus the Ski Instructor and even Jesus the Ballet Instructor. If you haven't seen these yet, you've got to click through and check them out.

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