Whether or not we notice it, Art is always around. It can come in the form of a beautiful painting in the Smithsonian Museum, a sculpture by Michelangelo, or as graffiti on the wall. Whatever the form, art is always present. Additionally, art is not new; for as long as there have been people, there has been art. Though rare, early Christian art manages to express, in picture form, a story from the bible. One piece, which was actual a mural painted in the fourth century, on walls of the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Raveena, Italy, depicts Christ teaching his apostles. Just a few miles away in a Vatican City museum is a statue from the third century which also depicts Christ as the Good Shepherd.The artists who crafted these works of art shared a common theme, which was Christ, but they tell a different part of the story; the mosaic shows how the sheep view Christ, while the statue tells how Christ searches for the lost sheep.According to the text in the book “Culture and Values: A Survey of Humanities” the statue, which was quite rare before the fourth century, is a classic Greaco-Roman depiction of Christ as the Good Shepherd (142). This statue, unlike the mosaic by the same name, only shows a single sheep, the lost sheep which Christ seeks out. In the parable from Luke 15 vs 3-7, Christ reveals that a good Shepherd will, if losing one sheep, he drops everything to find that one sheep. The Statue is a literal depiction of the good shepherd searching for his lost sheep. The mosaic, on the other hand, does not show Christ searching for his flock, but rather it shows his flock calm and secure in his presences. They are at rest and at peace, and all are gazing at their master. The statue, much like the mosaic…
…osaic expresses the peace that the flock has with the shepherd, while the statue expresses the shepherd searching for his lost sheep. Their purpose is the same, to share one particular part of the parable that Christ told about in Luke, and despite various years separating the works, their message is still as clear today as it was then; Christ is The Good Shepherd.
Melina, Remy. “Why Is the Color Purple Associated with Royalty?” 2011, June 03. 2011, Sept 10.
Sacred-Destinations.com. “Mausoleum of Galla Placida, Revenna”. 2009, Dec 16. 2011, Sept 10.Bromiley, Geoffrey William, Fredrich, Gerhard, Kittel, Gerhard. “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.” Struttgart, Germany. W. Kohlhammer Verlag. 1995. Print.