Evolution of the Crucifix in Western Art Descriptive Essay by Peter Pen

A synopsis of the development of the crucifix in religious art over the centuries and the religious significance associated with the different depictions of the crucifixion of Jesus.
# 145344 | 1,936 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008
Published on Nov 04, 2010 in Art (History) , Religion and Theology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper explores the development of the crucifix and the crucifixion of Jesus and its significance both religiously and artistically. The author begins with the first appearance of the crucifix as religious art in the Eastern Roman Empire in the 5th. century A.D. and follows its evolution through to the modern day. The author describes in detail some of the more significant examples of the depiction of the crucifixion and attempts to explain the reasons behind the development of the art form both from a religious standpoint and an artistic one.

From the Paper:

"The first depictions of the crucifix come from the Eastern Roman Empire. Constantine the Great was the Emperor that made Christianity the official religion of Rome. During this transition from pagan religion's to Christianity art was not a major concern for the church. More importantly the church, as did Constantine, wanted to build churches, and other buildings of worship to spread Christianity. This was the beginning of church architecture and basically the beginning of modern day Christian religions. Although art wasn't a priority at the time there are examples of religious art from this time period. Realism was not a particular concern in early depictions of the crucifix. For the most part the image of Jesus was portrayed with little or no emotion. Realistic anatomy was also ignored which resulted in unrealistic proportions of the human body. A good example of what most crucifixes looked like at the time is this relief sculpture."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kaufman Kohler. "Cross Jewish Viewpoint Information" Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906) posted on internet-(May 1997) http://mb-soft.com/believe/txn/cross.htm
  • "Pagans, Christians, And Jews: The Art of Late Antiquity" Hoover and San Antonio College, (September, 2001) http://www.accd.edu/sac/vat/arthistory/arts1303/ECBYZ1.htm
  • Marilyn Stokstad. "Art History: A View at the West"-3rd ed. (2008, 2005) Person Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
  • Cunningham, Lawrence S. "Saint Joseph in Italian Renaissance Art" Commonweal (September 2002) Carolyn C. Wilson Saint Joseph's University Press
  • "Christian Cross" Wikipedia.com (2007) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_cross

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Evolution of the Crucifix in Western Art (2010, November 04) Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/evolution-of-the-crucifix-in-western-art-145344/

MLA Format

"Evolution of the Crucifix in Western Art" 04 November 2010. Web. 24 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/evolution-of-the-crucifix-in-western-art-145344/>