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17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Knuth's 3:16 project unique?

Famous computer scientist Donald Knuth is also the author of 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated (A-R Editions, 1990). This is a tour of the Bible using the methodology of "stratified random sampling", where ...
15
votes
1answer
694 views

Why do some Christians object to images of Jesus?

Within some branches of Protestantism, many Christians believe that "images of Jesus" are sinful, and that Christians should not attempt to produce them. Some go so far as to say that they should be ...
14
votes
1answer
350 views

What does the abbreviation “RNIO” mean in a painting of the Virgin and Child?

In the Crivelli painting "The Virgin and Child with Infants Bearing Symbols of the Passion" there is (at the right, under a bare tree) an injured (?) knight with a red shield inscribed with the ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

When did the angel archetype change from masculine to feminine?

Throughout the bible, angels typically appear as men or a masculin form. They're often described as warriors, engaging in battle. (Source) However, in modern, generally Western (or at least ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Is it historically inaccurate that Jesus is usually portrayed as European looking?

Is it historically inaccurate that Jesus is usually portrayed as European looking, having certain facial and bodily features (muscular)? Would most people follow Him if he did not look white or was ...
11
votes
1answer
11k views

What does the Bible say about the appearance of angels? [closed]

In Christian art, angels are often depicted as winged human-like creatures. However, I'm curious if there is any justification for this in the Bible? I've sometimes heard that there isn't, so that's ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the meaning of the large statue of a pine cone in Vatican City?

What is the meaning of this statue in Vatican City?
10
votes
1answer
642 views

How did the four living creatures become associated with the Gospel writers?

The visions of Ezekiel recorded in Ezekiel 1 and that of John in Revelation 4:7 include four living creatures (ζῷα) that stand in the presence of the throne of God. In both visions these heavenly ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Why is Jesus often depicted with long hair if 1 Corinthians 11:14 says it is disgraceful? [closed]

According to 1 Corinthians 11:14, it is disgraceful for men to have long hair: Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him? Why, then, is Jesus ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

Where did the religious symbol of the 'halo' come from?

I once read somewhere that the 'halo' was inherited by Christianity from ancient worshippers of the Sun.  However, although this seems believable I never bothered to verify its historic credibility - ...
9
votes
1answer
231 views

What are halos?

Art (particularly Christian art, it seems) is filled with halos. There's halos on Jesus at the Last Supper; Jesus, Moses, and Elijah at the transfiguration; on angels; the virgin Mary; etc. What ...
9
votes
1answer
132 views

What is the earliest point in history where the cross icon started showing up on artifacts related to Christianity?

I can’t imagine the cross would have become an art-piece while the Romans were still killing Christians. The cross symbol during the persecutions must have in some way seemed similar to the Nazi ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

Where did the artistic rendering of Jesus originate?

There seems to be a pretty recognizable and consistent artistic image of Jesus Christ, despite the lack of evidence of what he looked like. Where did this initial image originate?
8
votes
1answer
293 views

Why is Jesus portrayed and remembered in a state of suffering?

My observation of Christianity is that Jesus Christ is portrayed, worshiped and promoted in his state on the cross: suffering, crucified, having wounds. I don't see what sense this makes. This seems ...
8
votes
1answer
968 views

Why does a beheaded saint have the halo above the stump?

Many Christian martyrs have been beheaded, and they are often shown in art carrying their own severed heads. Sometimes, the halo appears not around the head, but where the head should be, as in the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What does spikenard have to do with St Joseph?

The coat of arms of Pope Francis includes references to Jesus (the sun with cross, nails, and IHS), Mary (the star) and Joseph (the cluster of flowers). The association of the flowers with St ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

In Eastern Orthodoxy, how is an icon recognized as inspired?

In a discussion on imagery and icons, the Orthodox Study Bible says: Every image, or icon, of Christ has significant theological content. For it proclaims anew the Incarnation of God, who "became ...
4
votes
4answers
508 views

Was Adam anatomically God's image? [closed]

Under patronage and control of Pope Julius circa 1512, Michelangelo painted the fresco on the Sistine Chapel that shows the creation of Adam. The complementary poses of the two figures emphasize ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Drawing of a Christian helping his own assailant

A few years back I saw a drawing of a Christian priest helping his own assailant to get up. It was on a wiki page that I cannot remember. I am hoping that some one here knows the page, and maybe even ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Why is archangel Michael portrayed with a sword in art?

There is no mention of Michael wielding a sword in the bible, so I wonder if there are references in other texts?
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Violence and Iconography

Are there any rules for painting (or praying) Orthodox Christian icons that disallow depictions of violence or conflict? For example: Would an icon depicting a murder be a problem?
4
votes
2answers
54 views

Prophetic Fine Art,what is it?

In many Pentecostal churches, they talk about prophetic art - pictures/paintings with prophetic value. And of course, the Catholic Church is full of art, but do they consider their churches art ...
4
votes
2answers
85 views

Does Stained Glass art hold any special meaning for Catholics?

We see beautiful Catholic buildings adorned with multiple works of stained glass art; is this for any particular reason other than the fact that stained glass art looks nice?
4
votes
0answers
33 views

Do any groups of Quakers still disapprove of the fine arts?

The family of the great painter Benjamin West belonged to a Society of Friends when West was a child, and according to his biography, in that environment his prodigious artistic talents were not ...
3
votes
3answers
465 views

What is the significance of position of fingers in Jesus' hand as shown in his images?

In most of the visual images of Jesus – both in picture and sculpture forms – fingers of His right hand, raised in blessing, follow a particular arrangement. Is there any significance to that ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

How did the early church respond to the accusation that Christianity forbid ‘all uses of images’ even if only ‘representing the Divine Being’?

Origen, in Contra Celsus, Book VII, responds to an attack from Celsus: that Christians are just like Jews in rejecting all forms of images without exception. In this rebuttal by Origen, we clearly ...
3
votes
1answer
406 views

Sybils and Prophetesses in the Sistine Chapel

For what purpose did Michelangelo add each Sybils or Prophetesses to the ceiling of the Sistine chapel? This is an explanation to why they're there in the first place. The latter, although ...
2
votes
2answers
246 views

Why is Jesus looking on an oddly standing stone?

I am not a Christian, so please excuse my Philistinism if I'm missing the obvious, but ever since I saw this painting on my Grandma's wall I've been intrigued by it. Particularly the standing stone in ...
2
votes
1answer
473 views

What is the name of this painting of Mary and the infant Jesus?

Since there exists no "Arts" site on Stack Exchange, I was inclined to come here to ask about this Christian work of art.
2
votes
3answers
218 views

The Bible and art

I was wondering what instructions, if any, the bible places on the creation of art. I imagine anything that is forbid by the Bible would be disallowed to be put in a piece of art, but I can not seem ...
2
votes
2answers
289 views

Does the Bible say anything about chimeras or explains their purpose? [closed]

Firstly, I'm sorry if it's not the right place to ask this kind of question. I didn't know where else I could ask about it. I'm interested in Simon de Myle's painting of the ark. In the middle of the ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

An image of half a leg on a church wall?

A little bit of a random question here - I was at a christening this Sunday just gone and on the wall was an image of half a leg with a passage underneath it (not sure what it said) and I don't have a ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Why does Joseph have a staff in nativity scenes?

I noticed that many nativity scenes present Joseph with a staff (in many cases a shepherd's staff). What was the original basis for this portrayal? This answer is less concerned with the origin of ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

What is on the cover of this printing of Ladder of Divine Ascent?

What is that? Is it some well-known Orthodox symbol? I think I can discern a bearded face but that's it.
-1
votes
1answer
92 views

What did CS Lewis mean by 'art'? [closed]

In the Transposition, when CS Lewis talks of the negations of what will be in heaven in their temporal form, when he said 'art' did he mean art as in 'painting' or books, music, sculpture, etc. ...