March 13, 2011

Ugly Christ

I was recently talking to my friend Martín Hadis, who wrote an excellent book about the ancestors of Jorge Luis Borges, when he reminded me of the theory of the "Ugly Christ". It was made by Borges' grandmother, Frances Haslam, who was an English Methodist. She recalled a prophecy by Isaiah 53:

"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him / nothing in his appearance that we should desire him"

If you go to the museum Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, you will find some ugly Christs, like these:

Domenico di Pace Beccafumi, Mary with Child, St. John and St. Geronimo (1523-1525)

Albrecht Dürer, The Young Jesus among the doctors (1506)

Bramantino, Resurrection of Christ (1490)

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