Christ in Majesty

Topics: Four Evangelists, Medieval art, Romanesque architecture Pages: 4 (1750 words) Published: November 17, 2007
Christ in Majesty

Christ in Majesty is a Romanesque fresco secco from the 12th century that was transferred to plaster and wood. It was originally located in the apse of the Church of Santa Maria de Mur in Catalonia, Spain but now is located in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as a gift from the Maria Antoinette Evans Fund. The fresco is a transition from Roman and Byzantine Art to Gothic Art. The artist of Christ in Majesty utilizes his art to educate people in the doctrines of the Christian faith. Christ in Majesty is a work of art made to emphasize religion and to teach illiterate people the principles of Christianity. On the upper register one sees figures from the New Testament such as Christ surrounded by the four symbols of the evangelists (Matthew as an angel, Mark as a lion, Luke as an ox, and John as an eagle), and the seven lamps signifying the seven communities where Saint John addressed the Apocalypse . Next to the arches on the second register, the artist depicts the Twelve Apostles (with their names written next to them) and scenes from the Old Testament including the story of Cain and Abel. The most important figure is Christ because he is the son of God and the one who gave up his life so that the sins of humanity could be forgiven. He holds a book with the inscription "I am the way, I am the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (Museum of Fine Arts Plaque). The viewer can clearly see Christ as the central figure because of the inscription written on the book he holds, his size, and the mandorla around him. The iconography is not unique to this painting. There are many works like The Transfiguration of Jesus in the monastery of Saint Catherine, the fresco on the dome of the Katholikon in Hosios Loukas, and the Pantokrator, Theotokos, and Child, Angels, and Saints in Monreale, Italy that have the same iconography. The purpose of these works is to familiarize the community with the teachings from the Bible. The major...
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