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Piero della Francesca, Italian, 1422-1492.. Early Renaissance

Examples of Christ Depicted in Art

 Signs and Symbols representing Christ in Western Painting

Byzantine, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings are rich in philosophical and Christian symbolism regarding Jesus Christ.

Christ is central to Byzantine Art. According to the Holy Church "All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them. They make manifest the "cloud of witnesses"29 who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man "in the image of God," finally transfigured "into his likeness,"30 who is revealed to our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ"  

Symbols of Christ in Western Painting

The Lamb - symbol of Christ as the Paschal Lamb, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" (Bible, John 1:29).

Grape Vine, symbolizing Christians unification with Christ who said, "I am the vine; you are the branches."

Fish - one of the oldest and  most important symbols of Christ

The Good Shepherd - images of Christ as the Good Shepard are mainly found in the catacombs.

IHS -  the first three letters of the Greek name for Jesus.

The Meaning of Sacred Symbols in  Paintings. Most prominently featured  symbols and their meaning:

The  Serpent

Good Shepherd

Adam and Eve




Virgin Mary


The Anchor

The Apostles



The Cross

Architectural Elements


The Saints









Household Objects



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