The Crucifixion is a motif in the history of Western art that has appeared in perhaps tens of thousands of forms. From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, to Jewish artist Marc Chagall, to Salvador Dali’s surrealistic renderings, to the controversial “Piss Christ” and on and on – The image of Christ on the Cross holds various degrees of meaning and purpose depending on the viewer and the artist. Ironically, I am a believer and an artist but I’ve never painted any crucifixion scene. However, recently I was inspired by a devout young man who diligently crafts his paintings in the art studio I help to manage.
I work at a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Among my duties is the responsibility to provide an atmosphere of creativity and the opportunity for self-expression through art. The young man mentioned above often pictures Bible stories in his own distinct style. Currently, he is working on a Crucifixion scene which he said was for Good Friday. Here is his work in progress:
I often find myself inspired by something my students are doing. They can give me the needed push in a certain area in my own personal art exploration. Lately I’ve wanted to try out water-colors and so I decided to do some paint sketches of the Crucifixion. I showed the sketches to my wife and she though it an odd juxtaposition: A media that is often associated with things soft and beautiful used to picture the torturous death of Jesus. Perhaps she’s right. But God becoming a human being is an odd juxtaposition too.
Here are my water-color sketches. I may turn at least one of these into a larger painting. I suppose this is a fitting study during Lent: