The tragic climax to the Gospel stories, the Crucifixion of Christ is the pivotal event of Christianity. In theological terms, it is God's sacrifice of Himself to redeem mankind; in human terms it is the ultimate tragedy and a hugely evocative symbol of suffering and human sacrifice. As Christianity's supreme image, the Crucifixion has been endlessly represented by artists throughout the centuries. This volume presents a chronological sequence of over 100 of the finest Crucifixion images produced by the greatest artists in the Christian tradition, ranging from the earliest catacomb art to the late twentieth century.
The subject is always the same, the means of representing it always different -- in style, mood, medium, scale. Perusing this powerful volume, the reader is taken on a prolonged meditation, focusing on the universal themes of suffering, sacrifice and redemption, and reflecting on the power of art to transcend its grim subject matter and to create out of it works of compelling beauty.
Sparing in words, stark and simple in presentation, this book is nevertheless eloquent -- a harrowing but ultimately inspiring commentary on divine and human sacrifice, and on the mysterious power of art to express both religious feeling and the extremes of human emotion.