Throughout history Christan mythology has been depicted with great variety. Because images of Jesus are so common in the history of art, I thought it would be interesting to explore some of the more unusual works.
Today I'm posting several paintings of Jesus that are strangely feminine. In some instances, his femininity is so extreme that it appears he was painted as a bearded woman or as having a male body with a female head. I assume that the thought process behind this decision was to make Jesus appear non-aggressive and benevolent, however, I find it strange that rather than looking to the features of non-aggressive and benevolent males, these artists looked to the features of non-males. Though some of these images depict Jesus as a boy or as young man, these works still seem to be more like paintings of girls and young women and if I didn't know they were supposed to be males I would have assumed they were females.
|Unknown artist's Christ Child with Passion Symbols|
|Guido Reni's Christ Embracing Saint John Baptist|
|Carlo Dolci's The Young Jesus with a Wreath of Flowers|
|Matteo Rosselli Jesus and John the Baptist|
|This painting in particular appears to be a woman with a beard.|
|This one also appears to be more like a bearded woman than a man.|
Although I find these feminine portrayals of Jesus to be very unusual I am not wholly shocked by them because I have seen similarly Christian works with even more extreme portrayals of males with female attributes. For instance, there are many images of the Archangel Michael that have heads that I can only describe as female attached to male bodies. Here are some examples of these exceptionally androgynous figures: