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The Face
June 9, 2007 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Stunning morph sequence from the PBS documentary The Face: Jesus in Art. "Perhaps no religious figure has been more often depicted in art than Jesus. But Gospel accounts of Jesus' life give no clues about his actual physical appearance. THE FACE: JESUS IN ART, a new PBS documentary, examines the ways that artists over the centuries have imagined the man Christians call "the Son of God." Beginning with Roman mosaics from the third century and moving on to masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance and modern paintings from Europe and the Americas, THE FACE looks at 17 centuries of artistic renderings of Jesus from around the world -- including unfamiliar depictions such as a Japanese Christ and a three-headed Trinity from India." Also Program Open and Behind the Scenes.
posted by vronsky (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Quicktime and Windows Media versions here.
posted by vronsky at 9:47 AM on June 9, 2007


Where is black Jesus?

And it is interesting that throughout history, Jesus did have a pretty well established look. White guy, long hair, beard. My guess is that it was an early archetype that got cemented in peoples heads and all further works were derivations of that likeness. Because there certainly isn't anything in the bible to suggest that appearance.

Stylistically, this link reminded me of this.
posted by quin at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2007


They had a Black Jesus in there.
That was a pretty cool presentation; lens flare and all. I'll certainly watch this program as I've always been a big fan of Jesus art. The old Crash Palace in Chicago had the greatest collection of kitschy Jesus art in the world.
posted by NoMich at 10:18 AM on June 9, 2007


Nice animation.

Was the voiceover supposed to mean something, or was it just meant as a flourish of bombast to fit with the imagery? I don't think I quite understood the argument. Unless the argument was really, really, really dumb.
posted by you at 10:31 AM on June 9, 2007


I totally thought that last Jesus was going all Star Trek at the end of that first link. Seriously. Maybe more Spaceballs. I thought he was standing on top of a vacuum cleaner or something and hurtling off into space.

Anyway, cool link.
posted by brina at 10:32 AM on June 9, 2007


Black Jesus
posted by psmealey at 11:27 AM on June 9, 2007


"Funny... you don't look jewish!"
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:41 AM on June 9, 2007


[taps mic]

Excuse me, everyone, I have a brief announcement to make...

Jesus was black, Ronald Regan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11.

Thank you for your time, and goodnight.
posted by quin at 12:06 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Was the voiceover supposed to mean something, or was it just meant as a flourish of bombast to fit with the imagery"

I dunno you. I was turned on to the vid because an old friend from NYU did some post-production work on it. I haven't watched the whole doc in a while, but was very impressed by the morphing sequences. Narrow minded, or literalist atheists may want to watch with the sound turned down, so they won't be offended.
posted by vronsky at 5:02 PM on June 9, 2007


I think all these morphing Jesuses and all those morphing art ladies should get together and paaaartaaay!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM on June 9, 2007


Ronald Regan was Donald Regan's little known brother?
posted by Eekacat at 6:15 PM on June 9, 2007


That was awesome. Except for two things...

#1) If the face of Jesus has been represented in every civilization on Earth, then where is Japanese Jesus? I didn't see anything even close.

#2) If you're talking about the face of Jesus being varied throughout the ages, I think it's also important to point out "By 'varied' we mean 'variations on having a beard.'" I think I only saw one clean-shaven Jesus in that montage and certainly all of the Jesuses (Jesi?) that I have encountered in art history have been hirsute.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:39 PM on June 9, 2007


If the face of Jesus has been represented in every civilization on Earth, then where is Japanese Jesus?

They don't need to represent him here. They've got him buried here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:50 PM on June 9, 2007


Oooh. Also: on the website that you linked to, flapjax, they have a man with a beard. Obviously, this is the real deal.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:57 PM on June 9, 2007


The morph sequence was just the last few minutes of of a two hour documentary grapefruitmoon. It wasn't meant to include all of the different representations of Christ throughout history.
posted by vronsky at 7:09 PM on June 9, 2007


And you're an artist grapefruitmoon. Wasn't the last image by William Blake? cause it looked like Blake to me, but Google is failing me.
posted by vronsky at 7:14 PM on June 9, 2007


Narrow minded, or literalist atheists may want to watch with the sound turned down, so they won't be offended.

*sigh*... yeah. that's exactly why...
posted by odinsdream at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2007


The first time I saw a blond blue eyed jesus I giggled a little bit.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:09 AM on June 10, 2007


Well, to be fair, Jesus giggled a little bit the first time he saw BrotherCaine ;)
posted by vronsky at 5:50 PM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


vronsky: "Narrow minded, or literalist atheists may want to watch with the sound turned down, so they won't be offended."

I'm not offended, just confused. My reading of the argument was "People draw Jesuses that look like themselves. This is not because people make up Jesus in their own image, but because Jesus is God, and Man was made in God's image", which seems to imply that the historical Jesus had weird shapeshifting powers (or was very ambiguous looking).

(this assumes that we are talking about depictions of Jesus-on-Earth)

By the way, what exactly is a "literalist atheist"? I tried Googling for it, but it seems to be used for name-calling only. If it means "someone who disbelieves a literal interpretation of the bible", then it would cover every Christians I know as well.
posted by you at 5:56 PM on June 10, 2007


Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.
He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.
Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.
Reckon they'd just nail him up if He come down again.

'Cos everybody's got to have somebody to look down on.
Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.
Someone doin' somethin' dirty, decent folks can frown on.
If you can't find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

-Kris Kristofferson
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:04 PM on June 10, 2007


Like I said you, I haven't seen the film in a while and the morphing sequence is just the last two minutes of a two hour documentary dealing with the different representations of Jesus throughout history. It is like trying to figure out the main argument of a 200 page book by reading the last paragraph. If you are really interested, and still confused, rent the dvd and figure it out for yourself. You're a big boy.
posted by vronsky at 7:27 PM on June 10, 2007


She was a level-headed dancer on the road to alcohol
And I was just a soldier on my way to Montreal
Well she pressed her chest against me
About the time the juke box broke
Yeah, she gave me a peck on the back of the neck
And these are the words she spoke

Blow up your T.V., throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own.

John Prine
posted by vronsky at 8:06 PM on June 10, 2007


Flapjax, you sweet thing.
posted by vronsky at 10:36 PM on June 10, 2007


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