Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Christ Jesus


This arresting image of Christ is a favorite of many of us and reveals El Greco's indebtedness to the icon painters of his native Greece. But while icons have brilliant gold backgrounds signifying timelessness and eternity, in this painting Christ is shown against a background of daubed and scumbled muddy browns. Thus it is that El Greco depicts Christ as absolutely of the earth, one of us. At the same time, his diamond-shaped nimbus, his right hand raised in blessing, and his left resting in dominion over the brown orb of Earth reveal that he is truly divine.

Truly human, truly divine, Christ Jesus is with us, truly with us in all things, always and everywhere.

The Savior, El Greco (and workshop), 1608-1614, oil on canvas, 72 cm x 55 cm, The Prado, Madrid.