The Image of Christ

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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, London, and former Director of the National Gallery, London. Susanna Avery-Quash, Xavier Bray, Erika Langmuir and Alexander Sturgis are all present or former members of staff at the National Gallery, London.

Published to accompany the exhibition Seeing Salvation at the National Gallery, London 26 February – 7 May 2000.

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.

View spreads of this book (1 MB PDF)

Product Information

Product Code 1018462
ISBN 9781857092929
author Gabriele Finaldi
colour illustrations 182
format Paperback
pages 224
published Feb 2000 (new edn Jun 2011)
publisher National Gallery Company
Dimensions 250 X 250 mm

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