A History of Violence

Posted by MadScientist (Düsseldorf, Germany) on 23 April 2011 in Art & Design.

The depiction of violence is inherent in Christian iconography. Jesus' death on the cross is both part of the message of salvation as it is the clarification of the incarnation of God: look, a human being, a man is suffering here. Ecce homo.

While the medieval depiction of the suffering Christ puts especially emphasis on the horrors and grief of the crucifixion, it was the raising Protestantism that redefined the death on the cross as a moment of triumph, the triumph over death and suffering.

This interpretation had a tremendous impact on the anti-reformationist programme of the Jesuit order. And that's one reason why this life-size crucifix in the Jesuit church of Heidelberg is no longer a depiction of a violent act but its overcoming.

MissT from Chicagoland, United States

Beautiful - fabulous shot!

23 Apr 2011 5:02am

@MissT: The upper part of the body is a bit bigger than the lower part in order to compensate for the viewer's perspective. Something baroque sculptors took great care of.

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

I cannot imagine the indescribable pain of a crucifixion Manfred, the heavy oppressive weight on the lungs and chest cavity would be an added torment as one struggles to breathe, as would the fight to support the weight of one's own body against the tortuous pain of the nails.
Man has a history of such horrors and atrocities against his fellow beings.
May you find renewed hope and joy in the new life of Easter my friend.

23 Apr 2011 1:12pm

@Curly: Many thanks for these words, Curly, I wish you a very happy Easter, too!
The death on the cross was certainly the most drastic way of punishment. It is even more disturbing how easily you could run into danger of getting punished this way.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

good close-up and composition MS!

23 Apr 2011 8:33pm

@Ted: Thanks a lot, Ted!


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