FACE TO FAITH
By comparing images of Jesus it is possible to trace the development of Christian belief into the nature of Christ
Perhaps the earliest image of Jesus, this is not a flattering one. The graffito shows a man raising his hands to a crucified figure – a man with the head of a donkey. Underneath is written “Alexamenos worships his god”.
The Good Shepherd
In the catacombs of Rome can be found paintings of Jesus as a beardless youth carrying a sheep dating from the 3rd century. Possibly not meant to represent the historical Jesus but as an allegory of his role.
Healing the Paralytic
A wall painting from Syria dated to around 230 CE shows Jesus in the act of performing a miracle laid out in much the same way as a modern comic strip. Unfortunately the details of Jesus himself are difficult to discern.
Tomb of Commodilla
This 4th century mural of Jesus is the earliest yet discovered which show him with a beard and long hair, a style not native to Rome. This would become the prototypical image of Jesus in art over the following centuries.