13 Famous Paintings Of Jesus: Take A Look at Jesus Artworks!

Jesus Christ holding a lamb.

Where there is faith, there is art!

Faith and religion have always been intertwined with art as a way of expression and devotion! 

Maybe that’s why paintings of Jesus are some of the oldest paintings to be traced.

But it didn’t just live among the medieval paintings from the middle ages. 

Jesus paintings prevailed throughout history in different eras and art movements, and even to this day! 

Maybe it is faith, or maybe it is art’s ability to express itself so well.

Whatever it is, there is something so mesmerizing about Jesus paintings that we just can’t get over them! 

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In today’s article, I have specially curated 13 famous paintings of Jesus that will narrate Christ’s story and invoke something in you! 

Before we get into our list of famous Jesus paintings, let us look at why Jesus portraits are so unique and influential.

What’s So Special About Jesus Paintings?

a collage of different paintings of Jesus.

Have you ever thought about this?

Why are famous paintings of Jesus all across different periods, from the Medieval times, to the Renaissance, and even Modern art?

Many famous artists have portrayed Jesus in different fashion.

Most of these Jesus art have been taken from biblical context, narrating an incident or event from the Bible. 

What makes these paintings so special is that we get to see Jesus through different lenses.

If you look at the history of painting, you’ll notice how Christian art played a huge role in paving the foundation for artists in many parts of the world! 

This, of course, resulted in Jesus’ artworks becoming the most famous.   

So, are you ready to enter the world of Jesus and witness some of the most tremendous Jesus portraits of all time? 

1. Ognissanti Madonna

Ognissanti Madonna is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: researchgate
Name of Artist Giotto de Bondone
Year of Painting’s Completion1310
Where it is Currently HousedUffizi Gallery Florence

The first one on the list of famous paintings of Jesus has to be the infamous Ognissanti Madonna! 

This Jesus  is known to be celebrated as the first painting from the Renaissance period. 

It was created by Italian artist Giotto de Bondone and depicts several traditional Christian subjects.

It displays the main subject—Virgin Mary with Christ as a child who was seen seated on her lap, with angels and saints on both sides.

Ognissanti Madonna was created for Ognissanti Church in Florence, specifically for the high altar.

Did you know that this Church was known for housing acclaimed paintings? 

The artist showed Madonna (Virgin Mary) and Christ in the foreground and larger compared to other characters.

Why do you think this is?

This was done to emphasize their importance and to bring focus on the main subjects of the Jesus painting! 

2. Christ Crucified

Christ Crucified is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikipedia
Name of ArtistDiego Velaquez
Year of Painting’s Completion1632
Where it is Currently HousedMuseo del Prado, Madrid

Christ Crucified is the most heart-wrenching one among other famous paintings of Jesus’ crucifixion that depict the Crucifixion of the Christ.

It was painted by Spanish artist Diego Velazquez, who was also the official painter of King Philip IV.

Christ Crucified depicts Jesus on the cross immediately after his death. 

However, it lacks narrative elements apart from the cross. 

But again, the unmoving form of Jesus has the power to build a lump in your throat!

Did you know that it was one of the few Jesus paintings that is regarded as the best religious painting?

Yes, this Jesus portrait has inspired several artists of the next generations. 

This life-sized frontal nude painting gained massive support from art critics that also display three elements—dignity, serenity, and nobility. 

3. The Man of Sorrows in the Arms of a Virgin

The Man of Sorrows in the Arms of a Virgin is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: fineartamerica
Name of ArtistHans Memling
Year of Painting’s Completion1475
Where it is Currently HousedNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

This painting of Jesus was created by Hans Memling and depicts Christ in a helpless and disturbed manner.

What do you see?

Sad eyes, blood dripping, despaired faces and an overall agony! 

You’ll see Christ with a fresh wound on his right side, just below his chest.

A wounded Jesus is being held in the arms of his mourning mother. 

In the background, you’ll see multiple other subjects and faces.

These drawings demonstrate Christ’s life at different points in time.

Hans showed agony, sacrifice, and pain in both characters. 

However, a gold leaf in the background was displayed to symbolize the glory of heaven.

This acts a very strong symbol because it tries to recompense the suffering Jesus had gone through. 

This famous painting of Jesus reflects the Northern Renaissance Style and received massive success at the time.

4.  The Yellow Christ

The Yellow Christ is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikipedia
Name of ArtistPaul Gauguin
Year of Painting’s Completion1889
Where it is Currently HousedAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, New York

The next one in our list of famous paintings of Jesus, is The Yellow Christ!

The Yellow Christ was made by one of the prominent painters of the Post-Impression period.

Paul Gauguin, the Expressionist artist is also known to be the disciple of famous painter Vincent van Gogh.

In fact, it is said that Gauguin was with Van Gogh before working on The Yellow Christ!

Looking at this Jesus painting, you’ll see a landscape in vivid colors—yellow, red, and green, with some human figures in the background.

In the foreground, the painting depicts the crucifixion of Jesus with three women around him gathered for prayer. 

Touch of pain, agony, and depression are showcased beautifully in the foreground. 

That’s the reason several art critics had articulated various theories on it. 

It’s been said that human figures represent actions where they want to return to a primitive and basic way of life.

And well, the lifestyle they wanted was far away from the lifestyle of the 19th century.

This famous Jesus picture is rich in symbolism and reflects Cloisonnism.

What is Cloisonnism you may wonder?

It is a style of post-Impressionist painting with bold and flat forms separated by dark contours.

This famous painting of Jesus has won many hearts and continues to do so to this day!

5. Head of Christ

Head of Christ is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: religionunplugged
Name of ArtistWarner Sallman
Year of Painting’s Completion1940
Where it is Currently HousedMuseum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas

Head of Christ, a famous portrait painting of Jesus, popularly known as Sallman Head was painted by Warner Sallman.

It was the only painting of Jesus that has been reproduced half a billion times for churches and private devotional purposes. 

Although it was made in charcoal and sold to Covenant Companion to use their cover; it received massive fame when made in other mediums. 

Millions of people from the 20th century would visualize Jesus the way he was showcased in this painting. 

Yes, Warner Sullman’s famous painting of Jesus became a phenomenal influence on many artists that came after. 

This particular Jesus art with long flowing hair in yellow-brown shades made by Warner had been praised by many Lutheran and Roman Catholic Christians. 

Besides, the Head of Christ became popular among Evangelical Christians as well!

This was because the portrait touched on sensitive parts that imply the salvific power of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. 

6. The Last Supper

The Last Supper is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikimedia
Name of ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Year of Painting’s Completion1498
Where it is Currently HousedSanta Maria Delle Grazie, Milan

The Last Supper, an enigmatic painting was painted by none other than Leonardo da Vinci.

It has been known as one of the finest and expensive works in art history!

For it displays harmonious composition, mysterious depiction of characters, and intense yet complex expression of emotions. 

You’ll see Jesus with his disciples having their last meal before Christ’s crucifixion. 

In this famous Jesus painting, he is seen wearing a red and blue robe, sitting in the middle and his disciples to either side of him. 

The artist tried to depict Jesus as calm, the all-knowing, as it’s believed that he knew that one among his disciples was going to betray him!

However, his disciples were in shock and angst since Jesus revealed the betrayal by one of his disciples. 

It is also one of the best paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and many artists after him had tried replicating the scene. 

The topic of debate was the person individual to the left, with feminine features, who was assumed to be—Mary Magdalene. 

However, it’s actually Saint John who was given a more feminine and youthful glow based on Renaissance style. 

The phenomenal painting of Jesus gained immense popularity and love. 

Due to its fragile condition, it’s allowed to be held for only 15 minutes by its current owner—Santa Maria Delle Grazie, Milan. 

Check out our Da Vinci Replica painting gallery if you wish to have one of his masterpieces hand painted by our experts!

7. The Transfiguration

The Transfiguration is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikimedia
Name of ArtistRaphael
Year of Painting’s Completion1520
Where it is Currently HousedVatican Museum

The next one among the famous paintings of Jesus is The Transfiguration. 

The Transfiguration, one of the finest paintings about Jesus, was completed at the last stage of the artist’s life. 

Did you know about the intriguing fact that Raphael applied the final brushstrokes a few months before his death?

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This very act made it the most famous oil painting in the world and also inspired upcoming generations.

Apparently the painting was meant to be made for Narbonne Cathedral in France.

But guess what? They didn’t receive the painting after Raphael’s death. 

It was instead sent to the Blessed Amadeo Church, where it was positioned on the cathedral’s altarpiece. 

You’ll realize that it’s a compilation of two pictures from two distinct biblical narratives from the Gospel of Matthew. 

The upper one shows Christ floating with illuminating clouds in his background, with two figures.

These figures are each on either side of him, and are apparently named Moses (right) and Elijah (left).

The artist showcased a scenario and showed faith, hope, and love with symbolic colors of blue-yellow, green, and red for their robes.

On the lower, you’ll see Apostles trying to free the possessed boy of his demonic possession.

The possessed boy, of course, was enduring pain until the arrival of the transfigured Christ. 

The artist depicted two different scenes in which  Jesus was portrayed as an angel.

An angel who rescues and resurrects circumstances and lives, preventing the angst and sorrow of people. 

The Transfiguration  was used to decorate the altar of the largest church in the world. 

Apart from that, this Jesus art was also once displayed with other famous paintings in the Louvre. 

8. Christ Of Saint John On The Cross

Christ Of Saint John On The Cross is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: mainlymuseums
Name of ArtistSalvador Dali
Year of Painting’s Completion1951
Where it is Currently HousedKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Salvador Dali, one of the renowned cubist artists, made this phenomenal and famous painting of Jesus.

The painting depicts Jesus on the cross in a darkened sky floating over the water body.

This is in fact influenced by a sketch from the 16th-century Spanish Franciscan John of the Cross. 

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Although it is a depiction of the crucifixion, it’s free of nails, blood, and a crown of thorns. 

I have wondered why this particular Jesus portrait was portrayed that way.

Despite being made in 1951, it won the Best Scotland Painting Award in 2006.

Besides, it’s regarded as one of the best religious paintings of the 20th century and was once jeopardized by a visitor in 1961.

Suggested Read: Artworks By Salvador Dali: Paintings You Know, Stories You Don’t

9. The Light Of The World

The Light Of The World is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikipedia
Name of ArtistWilliam Hollman Hunt
Year of Painting’s Completion1854
Where it is Currently HousedManchester Art Gallery

This famous Jesus painting was painted by William Holman Hunt in his early twenties. 

It represents Jesus with a lantern in his left hand, while knocking on an overgrown and long unopened door. 

And it took him several years to finish the toughest part of the painting—trees and morning stars. 

The artist depicted dawn in autumn, as you can evidently see fallen fruits, trees, and the light of the morning stars over Jesus. 

There are two lights in this Jesus painting that have their own significance.

The light of conscience is in the lantern, along with the light of salvation, which is around his head. 

William made a larger replica when he was about to turn 70!

However, it has distinct colors and details that can be seen in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

As per most art critics at the time, The Light Of The World was regarded as the most culturally influential rendering of Christ of its time.

10. Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ Carrying the Cross is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: metmuseum
Name of ArtistHieronymus Bosch
Year of Painting’s Completion1535
Where it is Currently HousedMuseum of Fine Arts, Ghent

Christ Carrying the Cross, another famous oil painting of Jesus, was painted by renowned 16th-century artist Hieronymus Bosch.

The painting depicts Jesus Christ carrying the cross for his own crucifixion. 

The artist showed a dark background above his head, surrounded by heads with grotesque faces.

Furthermore, you’ll see Jesus in pain as his eyes are closed and his head is reclined.

Apart from it’s brilliance, this Jesus painting has been recognized for its use of caricature to provide grotesque-looking faces surrounding Jesus.

(Suggested Read: Paintings by Hieronymus Bosch That Display Realities Of The Time)

11. The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikimedia
Name of ArtistMichelangelo
Year of Painting’s Completion1541
Where it is Currently HousedVatican City

The Last Judgment is one of the marvelous frescoes of Jesus that covers the whole altar of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. 

The creator is none other than one of the most famous Renaissance artists, Michelangelo!

He brilliantly depicted the Second Coming of Christ and the final and eternal judgment by God of all humanity.

There is another infamous religious drawing from the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, and that is the Creation of Adam!

This famous Jesus painting took 4 years to complete!

It was commissioned by Pope Clement VII. However, it was completed under Pope Paul III.

It is believed that the artist was influenced by the views of Pope Paul III, which in turn affected the climax of the Jesus painting!  

The frescoes with several nude humans and a sky in the background received mixed reactions.

It was definitely one of a kind Jesus art of its time. 

Therefore there was appreciation and criticism on both artistic backgrounds. 

(Also Read: 12 Remarkable Paintings By Michelangelo)

12. Sistine Madonna

Sistine Madonna is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikipedia
Name of ArtistRaphael
Year of Painting’s Completion1514
Where it is Currently HousedGemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Germany

Another most famous painting of Jesus by Raphael features two saints as main characters.

They are St. Sixtus (left) and St Barbara (right); the Madonna in the middle holding a child, standing on the carpet of clouds. 

You’ll see two angels at the foot of this Jesus painting, who gaze in wistful contemplation. 

There were many theories about the expressions of the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus.

And it clearly shows that they’re terrified and in angst. 

Madonna would have visualized her child’s crucifixion; while doing so all the suffering and sacrifice led her to a depressing state. 

Jesus, himself, would have seen his own death, whereas his mother was devastated witnessing his death.

The scene that frightens her is pointed out by St. Sixtus, and his expression speaks a lot. 

St. Barbara is the only figure in the group who wears a serene expression. 

She gazes down at the cherubs at her feet.

Raphael’s famous Jesus painting received fame, name, and recognition across the globe.

(Also Read: Paintings by Raphael that show the beauty of Renaissance art)

13. Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi is one of the famous paintings of Jesus
Image: Wikipedia
Name of ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Year of Painting’s Completion1520
Where it is Currently HousedThe Louvre Abu Dhabi

Salvator Mundi is the most famous painting of Jesus, and also the most controversial one. 

It was created by multi-talented, renowned artist, thinker, and innovator “Leonardo da Vinci”. 

And it’s considered the finest work in art history even in today’s times, that was first acquired by King Charles I of England, according to records.

Later, it was sold to the Duke of Buckingham’s son, further, to other princes and kings.

This famous painting of Jesus is currently owned by Badr bin Abdullah, the Minister of Culture of Saudi Arabia. 

It holds many records including the world’s most expensive paintings sold at public auction. 

This famous Jesus portrait depicts Jesus himself dressed in Renaissance garb.

He is shown raising two fingers of the right hand upward, which seems to indicate he’s in benediction while holding a crystal ball in the other hand.

These symbols together represent him as the Salvator Mundi, which literally translates to the “Savior of the World”.

(Also Read: 10 Famous Angel Artworks)

In Conclusion

The most famous Jesus paintings were created at different points in time by several known faces.

As faith grew among people, the world witnessed the birth of famous paintings of Christ that were found inspiring and honorable!

These paintings about Jesus gave the world a better insight on faith, and a different perspective on Christianity! 

Jesus Christ has moved people in his many forms that artists brought into artistic life.

Apart from that, these paintings act as a source of inspiration and also immense possibilities.

Furthermore, today, these paintings of Jesus are worth millions of dollars, located in several parts of the world.

Feel invoked and want to get a replica of one of the famous paintings of Jesus? 

Author’s Note

Hola Hola!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog as much as I loved writing it! 

So, which one is your favorite Jesus painting from the list?

I would love to hear back from you, so see you in the comment section below.

See you in the blog, until then…

Cheers xx 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which art movement’s painters created art about Jesus?

The artists of the Medieval Age and Renaissance created most of the famous Jesus paintings

Which Renaissance painting is often celebrated as the first work of Jesus art?

The Ognissanti Madonna, a famous artwork of Jesus, is often celebrated as the first painting from the Renaissance period.

Which is the most famous painting of Jesus?

Leonardo’s The Last Supper is undeniably the most famous painting of Jesus.

Which is the most heart-wrenching painting of Jesus?

Christ Crucified is the most heart-wrenching Jesus painting ever made.

Which is the most controversial painting of Jesus?

Salvator Mundi is the most famous and controversial painting of Jesus. There was a strong hypothesis that the painting was created by Da Vinci’s apprentices, and Leonardo worked only on the final craft. It is also one of the most expensive painting to have ever existed.

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