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published: 1/12/06
updated: 12/30/13

Jesus Image Gallery




What did Jesus look like?

No one knows for sure. The New Testament provides almost no physical descriptions and the earliest surviving portraits of Jesus date from about two centuries after his lifetime.

The ReligionFacts Jesus Image Gallery is a collection of 100 images of Jesus, arranged in chronological order from the most ancient to the most recent. Some of these images of Jesus might give us clues about what he may have really looked like, such as the alleged shroud imprints and modern forensic reconstructions. But the vast majority are symbolic representations or reflections of the artist's own time, culture and perceptions of Jesus, not attempts to show what he actually looked like.

Some basic facts and observations: Jesus was first represented by symbols like a lamb or fish. The earliest known image of Jesus is a fresco of the healing of the paralytic at Dura-Europos (c.230-40). Jesus first appears with a beard in the late 4th century (and then not consistently). The earliest depiction of the crucifixion is on a sarcophagus dated c.420 AD.







Shroud of Turin
30s AD??

Mandylion of Edessa
30-40??

Alexamanos Graffito
c.200

Healing Paralytic, Dura Europos, c.235

Good Shepherd, Catacomb
c.250

Good Shepherd, Catacomb
3rd C

Sun God, Tomb Mosaic
3rd C

Good Shepherd, Split
320

With Apostles, Catacomb, Rome, c.350

Enthroned, Santa Costanza, Rome, c.360

Teacher, Junius Bassus Tomb
c.360

Arrest, Junius Bassus Tomb
c.360

Good Shepherd
4th C

Good Shepherd, MOA Cleveland
c.370

Wonderworker, Brescia, c.360

Good Shepherd, Lateran Museum
late 4th C

Haloed Portrait, Catacomb, Rome, 4th C

Portrait,
Catacomb, Rome, 4th C

Haloed Portrait,
Catacomb, Rome, 4th C

As Orpheus, Catacomb, Rome, 4th C

Teacher, Milan Sarcophagus
395

Chi-Rho Halo, British Villa
4th C

Villa Wall,
Opus Sectile, Ostia, c.400

Ascension,
Munich
400

Crucifixion, Rome, Brit. Museum, c.420

Wonderworker,
Santa Sabina, Rome, c.430

Good Shepherd, Ravenna
c.450

Last Supper, Ravenna
c.500-20

Baptism (Arian),
Ravenna
late 5th C

Beardless,
Ravenna
c.500-26

Coptic Portrait, Louvre Museum
c.550

Beardless, Italy, V&A Museum
6th C

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
6th C

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
6th C

Icon, Mount Sinai, Egypt
6th C

SS Cosma e Damiano, Rome
6th C

Coin of Justinian II, Constantin. 705

Book of Kells, Ireland
late 8th C

Manuscript, Jarrow, UK
early 8th C

Carolingian, Metz Sacram.
9th C

Enthroned, Casket, Vatican 9th C
Healing, Fresco, Goldbach
9th cent.

Crucifixion, Rambona, Italy
c.900

Manuscript, Armenia
989

Stained Glass, Rhine Abbey
c.1070

Pantocrator, Daphne, Greece
c.1090

Raising Lazarus, Armenia
late 11th C

With Apostles, Barcelona
c.1100

Apse Mosaic, Palermo, Sicily
c.1140

Dome Mosaic, Palermo, Sicily
c.1140

Resurrection,
St. Apollonia
1147

Icon Not By Hands, Russia
c.1175

Mosaic, Bargello Museum
12th C

Pantocrator, Cefalu, Sicily
12th C

Pantocrator, Monreale, Sicily
c.1180-90

Blessing, Chartres Cathedral
1200-10

Majesty, Barcelona
1200-20

Crucifixion, Italy
c.1230

Majesty, Burgos Cathedral
c.1235

Before Pilate, Naumburg Cath.
c.1250

Moralisee Bible
c.1250

Macedonia
1262

Apocalyptic, Cimabue, Assisi
1280

Last Judgment, Pietro Cavallini
1293

Apse Mosaic,
Pisa Cathedral
c.1300

Post-Resurrection
Buoninsegna
1308

Mosaic, St. Savior in Chora, Istanbul
early 13th C

Icon,
Andrei Rublev
c.1425

Dead Christ,
Bellini, Milan
c.1460

Emmanuel Icon,
Russia
c.1450

Last Supper Altar, Dirck Bouts
1468

Blessing, Giovanni Bellini, Louvre
1479

Harrowing of Hell, Bermejo, Barcelona
1480

Fra Bartolomeo, Florence
late 15th C

Scourging, Bramante, Milan
1490

Crowned, Sandro Botticelli, Bergamo
1500

Blessing, Raphael, Brescia
1506

Transfiguration, Raphael, Vatican
1518-20

Christ with Cross, Michelangelo, Rome
1521

With Adulterer, Lucas Cranach
1532

Crucifixion, Michelangelo
c.1541

Turkish Islamic Manuscript
 

Doubting Thomas, Caravaggio
1601-02

Scourging, Caravaggio, Rouen
1607

Christ in Chains, Hanswijk Church
c.1650

Ethioipian
17th-18th C

Christ at 33, Heinrich Hofmann
late 19th C

Christ Knocking, Holman Hunt
19th C

Jesus Christ, Superstar
1973

Hindu Jesus, Christ the Yogi
1986

Mormon Jesus, Del Parson
1992

Black Jesus, Vincent Barzoni
20th C

Revolutionary Jesus, UK
1999

Sketch Drawing
2001

Forensic Reconstruction
2001

The Passion of the Christ
2004



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