Jesus Image Gallery

January 12, 2006 · updated December 18, 2023

Christ Pantokrator, Mount Sinai
Detail of Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.

What did Jesus Christ look like? No one knows for sure. The New Testament provides almost no physical descriptions. The earliest surviving portraits of Jesus date from over two hundred years after his lifetime.

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.

To illustrate how Jesus has been depicted throughout history, ReligionFacts presents the following Jesus Image Gallery: portraits 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.

apologies, we are rebuilding - images coming back soon! (Dec 2023)