Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Why the Resurrection rarely features in Christian art

By Mgr Timothy Verdon
The central event of Christian faith is the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, celebrated with great solemnity every year since the beginning of Christian history in the liturgical feast of Easter. Yet the Resurrection is less frequently represented in Christian art than other subjects, such as the Madonna and Child or the Crucifixion, and it is natural to ask why artists and patrons have been reticent in exploring this fundamental theme. A first obvious answer is that, while all can easily relate to images of a baby in his mother’s arms, or to depictions of human suffering (for we have all been babies and have all known some measure of suffering), resurrection from the dead is difficult to imagine. And the second answer, closely related to the first, is that the Scriptures, which provide most of the information on which Christian art draws, do not in any way describe the Resurrection, but simply announce it. [More]