A Jesus Portrait

The seeds of the project came from two sources. One is the artist's faith in the love of God best shone in the life of His son. The other source is the need of the artist to convey the Lord in symbolic lighting in a specific and crucial incident in Jesus' life. No claim made that this portrayal is "more authentic" since there is no evidence of his actual appearance.

The setting comes from Luke 22:54-62. After Jesus' arrest he was led past a courtyard where Peter, seated by a fire, was confronted with being a follower of Jesus. After denying it for the third time a cock crowed and "The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter". The look is one of sadness and conviction but with knowing compassion.

The only basis of evidence in the portrayal comes from an article from a magazine whose cover story was "What Did Jesus Look Like". The magazine was Popular Mechanics of all places! It was a forensics study by a man who created an image from three skulls that were found in the Palestine area from about two thousand years ago. Unfortunately this rendition made Jesus appear like a frightened caveman. The expressions and general structure of the soft tissue of the face are left to the forensics expert's opinion. But the shape of the face is reliable from the study. All three skulls indicated a more round face shape than long and narrow. The study surmised that Jesus wouldn't have had an unusual appearance since at his arrest Judas had to identify who Jesus was to the Roman officers. There was probably no telltale halo.

The most compelling part of this image is meant to be the eyes. In an article about John Eldridge (author of several books including Wild at Heart) a photo of him with these expressive eyes got Randel's attendion. They convey the feeling the artist believes may have been our Lord's at the time of the denial. As for other features, the nose is intended to simply appear in the typical downturn of a Middle Eastern person. The mouth could be anyone's. As for the length of the hair, in the Old Testament long hair was admired (Numbers 6:5) but in the New Testament, Paul says that for men long hair is contrary to nature or a disgrace (I Cor. 11:14).

The contrasting colors, warm on the left and cool on the right, can be seen symbolically as the two ways Jesus related to people. He was warm to the outcast, the sick, and those who knew and confessed their sin, but he was cool to the self-righteous. If you cover one half of the image and then the other, this contrast is more evident.

Since human nature allows the denial of our Lord in one way or another, the image may evoke a response in the viewer.

Copies of "A Jesus Portrait" are available by contacting Randel Anderson (402) 371-1267 or email randel@randelandersonart.com or at 2311 Vernon Ave. Norfolk, NE 68701.

Signed and numbered prints on acid free (non yellowing) paper:

9 x 13 = $25

Double matted acid free at 12 x 16 = $50

Matted and framed with metal and nonglare plexiglass = $75

11 x 16 (life size) prints = $35

Double matted and acid free at 16 x 20 = $75

Matted and framed with metal and nonglare plexiflass = $100

Randel loves to create art- especially custom works that remind customers of special people, places, events or pets in their lives. Randel does commissioned portraits, pictures of pets and wildlife, favorite things, commercial and organization work, and homes and other buildings.