Runic Stone: Crucified Christ in Interlace
Denmark (c. 940 A. D.)
Made for Harald Bluetooth:
"King Harald bade these memorials to be made after Gorm, his father, and Thyra, his mother. The Harald who won the whole of Denmark and Norway and turned the Danes to Christianity."
Denmark, East Jutland, Jelling
ArtSTOR/[x] [x] [x] [x]
It’s also interesting in a historical context as this was during a time when the Vikings were expanding and had a great deal of contact with peoples on other continents-which is how Harald Bluetooth ended up a Christian in the first place.
In fact, the only 100% confirmed pre-Columbian Viking Settlement in the Americas at L’Anse aux Meadows dates only 50 or so years later.
This Norsified version of Christ resembles Byzantine and Coptic Christian images moreso than those from other parts of the world.
But at this time, Jesus was more or less consistently depicted as a person of color regardless of where the art was made. Christs from Belgium were looking like this:
Lobbes Bible ms. 1 fol. 6 Genesis Initial (1064)
Psalter (fragment). whole page, Folio #: fol. 085r. (1025)
Christ in Majesty with symbols of the Evangelists, illumination from a Castilian Moralia in Job, fol. 2 (945)
Munster: St. Johann Int.: nave fresco: Scenes of the Life of Christ: det.: Christ and the children (800)
alright, lets address this nonsense in a little bit further detail, because i’m bored. anyone can see that these shitty little photos are terrible examples. the fact that this girl (surely not male) started off the post with a st. lukecaptioned, “Christs from Belgium were looking like this” should be enough to let everyone know she has no idea what she’s doing, and clearly just looks through old paintings until she finds something that might vaguely resemble a “person of color” (for her, anyone who isn’t obviously ivory-complected) and then bases outrageous and unfounded claims on them. she found 4 images from medieval europe which looked kinda sorta non-white to her, and so decided that “at this time, Jesus was more or less consistently depicted as a person of color regardless of where the art was made”. uh.
anyone who knows jack shit about medieval christian art should instantly know that that “belgian christ” is one of the evangelists. when has christ ever been depicted holding a pen? a look at the fuller image shows that he is inside an L initial. here is a christ from the same bible (which is actually the stavelot, not the lobbes), looking very white indeed.
that obscure psalter fragment and spanish illumination should be suspicious to anyone not completely blinded by his political agenda. the colors have obviously faded and changed a lot over the years. that’s what happens sometimes with medieval pigments over the course of a thousand years. they wash out and darken.
i didn’t do any research on the english psalter, but just from looking at the image you can see that particular pigment used for the skin was used quite a lot, and has over the years turned into a dull and unflattering greyish brown. it was probably originally a much bronzer hue. also consider st. joseph’s reddish hair. also, what the fuck,
11th centuryany century english art never depicted the holy family as black, what the fuck is wrong with you?
take a closer look at the spanish one. this one makes the pigment discoloration effectvery clear. look at st. matthew’s face in the lower left. do you think he has vitiligo? wait, they all have it, don’t they? yes, that’s probably it. the artist, whilst illuminating christ in majesty, decided to take the opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of pocs suffering from loss of skin pigmentation. if you’re still trying to figure out a way to make this particular jesus a poc, just look up the mozarabic style, of which this illumination is an example. what do you know, everyone looks about how you would expect an arabized iberian art style to depict them. that is, not black. but of course, the art style is so shitty and unrealistic anyway, it is pretty damn dumb to try and base your speculations of what people looked like back then on it.
and the german christ. i don’t even need to say anything about that one. just look at the rest of the art in the st. johann, or any other german art from the era, holy fucking shit