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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The artwork depicting Jesus Christ was painted by the renowned High Renaissance Italian artist Raphael. The painting was done between the years 1505 to 1506.

Christ Blessing was influenced by Leonardo, one of the great masters during the High Renaissance period. Raphael worked on this painting while he was in Florence, Italy a city seen as the origin of the Renaissance movement. Since 1851, this painting has been located at the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo in Brescia.

The painting shows a resurrected Christ emerging from the tomb. He bears the signs of Passion and the crown of thorns on his head. His body still bears the marks of torture he went through just before his death on a cross. For example, we can see his left hand having a nail mark. And on his chest just adjacent to his left-hand fingers, we also see cuts. The dark background symbolizes the suffering and hardships he experienced at the hands of the Romans.

The artist paints Christ in a deep red garment which is significant as it represents the blood he shed on the torture stake before his death. Similarities have been drawn between Raphael and Christ physical features in this painting. Raphael used oil on wood medium to convey his artwork. By using the oil painting technique, he was able to bring out the clarity in form and to capture the rich diversity of colors he wanted to use. The theme that he brought out in this painting is religious as Jesus death and resurrection is a significant event in religion. Therefore, he expresses his faith in Jesus through his painting.

Other notable works by Raphael also carrying religious themes include The Prophet Isaiah that was completed in 1512. The painting depicts Isaiah the prophet carrying a Hebrew scroll which contains the prophecy of Christ's birth. Notably, this work was influenced by another of the masters during the period of Renaissance, Michaelangelo. It is compared to the work he did on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Another religious work is Deliverance of Saint Peter done in 1514; the artwork shows the liberation of Saint Peter from the prison where Herod held him. Raphael illustrates how the angel rescued Peter at night from the confines of the prison. St Michael is another work done between the years 1504-1505 where Raphael depicts the Archangel Michael engaging in a battle with Satan's demons.