Artist: Jusepe de Ribera
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size:123 x 95 cm
Date: c. 1630-32
Location: Museo del Prado, Madrid.
Title: The Transfiguration
Artist: Cornelis Monsma
Medium: Oil on canvas panel
Size: 76 x 96 cm
Location: Private collection
The seventh miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in Luke 9:28-36. This miracle is known as the Transfiguration.
About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in
Cornelis Monsma, a modern day, self-professed expressionist visual artist, seeks to create modern Christian art work that “aims to visualize the deeper truth of Christianity.” Biblical inspiration has produced colorful contemporary artwork, with an expressionist, abstract flavor. Monsma, Friesian-Dutch born, resides in
Artist: Girolamo Savoldo
Medium: Oil on Wood
Size: 139 x 126 cm
Date: c. 1520
Location: Galleria degli Uffizi,
The disciples are trying to come to grips with what is happening. In their view Jesus is another great figure, like Moses and Elijah. He will found a people like Moses and sustain them through hope like Elijah. So Peter suggests they together celebrate Tabernacles, a feast that looked forward to the eschaton. Peter wants to enjoy the moment and prolong it in celebration. He wants to stay on the mountaintop for as long as possible. But Luke makes it clear that Peter has spoken because he did not know what he was saying. The voice from heaven explains: they need to listen to Jesus so they will understand his uniqueness, call and destiny to suffer. Also, as their role is not merely to contemplate Jesus but to serve him. Celebration awaits in the future, but now is a time for instruction, response and action. There is the divine voice, which stops all discussion between the disciples and Jesus, and there is the central instruction to listen to Jesus. The point in both cases is that instruction is needed, because the path Jesus walks is unexpected.
Girolamo Savoldo, also called Girolamo da Brescia (c. 1480 – after 1548) was an Italian High Renaissance painter. Active mainly in
Title: Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
Artist: Giovanni Lanfranco
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 229 x 426 cm
Location: National Gallery of Ireland,
The sixth miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in Mark 8:1-9. This miracle is known as Feeding of the 4000, or Miracle of the Seven Loaves and Fishes.
During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
Lanfranco’s ‘Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes’ was commissioned for the Blessed Sacrament chapel in the Basilica of Saint Paul Fuori le Mura, outside
Giovanni Lanfranco (January 1582 - November 1647) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. His talent for drawing allowed him to begin an apprenticeship with the Bolognese artist Agostino Carracci, brother of Annibale Carracci, working alongside fellow Parmese Sisto Badalocchio in the local Farnese palaces. When Agostino died in 1602, both young artists moved to Annibale's large and prominent Roman workshop. Lanfranco painted many religious decorations for churches and palaces in
Title: Loaves and Fishes
Artist: Cornelius Edmund Sullivan
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 150 x 240 cm
Date: c. 2000
Location: Private collection
This miracle is similar to that of feeding the five thousand, and yet there are very significant differences. The ground of Jesus’ compassion in the first miracle was "the fact that the people are like sheep without a shepherd"; whereas, in this, "it is the fact that they have been so long without food." Perhaps the most significant difference of all is that this miracle took place among the Gentiles, whereas those fed in the other were principally Jews. This key fact explains why two such miracles were performed, showing God's fairness in dealing with Gentiles as he had dealt with the chosen people. Christ is the bread of life for all, not merely for Jews alone.
Cornelius Edmund Sullivan is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker. For many years he was an Artist in Residence for the City of Cambridge, MA School Department. At the same time he served as the elected Artist's Representative to The Board of Directors of The Boston Center for the Arts and was a Master Etching Printer at Impressions Workshop Atelier in
Title: Jesus Walks on the Sea
Artist: William Hole
Medium: Printed book illustration
Size: 29 x 24 cm
Location: From “The Life of Jesus of
The fifth miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in Matthew 14:22-32. This miracle is known as Walking on Water, or Jesus Walks on the Sea.
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. "It's a ghost!" they said, and cried out in fear. Immediately Jesus spoke to them. "Have courage! It is
Hole uses his water colors to dazzling effect in his rendition of the disciples as they sight Jesus crossing the sea. The water shimmers, the clouds tumble, the moon glistens, and most of all, Jesus shines. There is no doubt that he is walking on water, no possibility of a sandbar or concealed isthmus. It is easy to understand the disciple’s terror, for they still failed to comprehend the true nature of their Lord.
William Hole (b.
Title: Christ Walks on Water
Artist: Ivan Aivazovsky
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Once Jesus has given the command, walking on water is simply a matter of trusting the One who has performed so many miracles in the past. Peter's failure comes as he observes the wind, looking to his situation rather than to God's power that is sustaining him. Still, Peter knows by this point whom to cry out to! It is important to note that while Jesus is disappointed with Peter's inadequate faith, Peter has still acted in greater faith than the other disciples - he is learning. Faith cannot be worked up by formulas or emotion, but it grows through various tests as we continue to trust our Lord and he continues to teach us. Faith grows out of a relationship with the Person of Jesus, and in no other way.
Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (July, 1817 – May, 1900) was a Russian painter of Armenian descent. He was born in the town of
Title: The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes
Artist: Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti)
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 154.9 x 407.7 cm
Date: c 1545–50
The fourth miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in John 6:1-13. This miracle is known as The Feeding of the 5,000, or often the Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fish.
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the
This large and long horizontal canvas is characteristic of the laterali used to decorate Venetian chapels, especially those maintained by confraternities devoted to the Eucharist, known as Scuole del Sacramento. Painted about 1545–50, the present picture was designed by Tintoretto and executed, like many of his larger paintings, in part by the artist and in part by members of his workshop. The painting shows Christ handing Saint Andrew one of the five loaves and two fishes to be distributed to the multitude.
Tintoretto (September, 1518 – May, 1594) also known as Jacopo Robusti or Jacopo Comin, was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Venetian Renaissance school. His father, Giovanni, was a dyer, or tintore; hence the son got the nickname of Tintoretto, little dyer, or dyer's boy. Like Titian, Tintoretto kept a huge workshop, his chief assistants being his sons Domenico and Marco, and his daughter
Title: The Miracle of the loaves and fishes
Artist: Giacomo Cavedone
Medium: Chalk, ink, wash & oil on paper
Size: 37 x 24 cm
Giacomo Cavedone (1577–1660) also called Giacomo Cavedoni, was an Italian Baroque painter of the
The Miracle of the loaves and fishes occurs in the Gospel of John immediately after Jesus has spoken of Moses (John 5:45-47), and performs a sign that might be expected of a new Prophet like Moses: providing manna. Further connection to the Old Testament is provided by reference to “barley loaves”, reminiscent of 2 Kings 4:42-44, where Elisha multiplies such loaves. Indeed, even Philip’s and Andrew’s skepticism mirrors that of Elisha’s disciples. When Jesus asks Philip where to buy bread for these people to eat, Philip has already concluded it is impossible, he can think only in terms of "how." But in fact it is a test. A correct answer, in keeping with faithful responses earlier in the Gospel, might be something like, "Lord, you know." Or perhaps, "You, Lord, are able to provide." But even Philip has yet grasp the full significance of his earlier confession (John 1:45) that Jesus is "the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote".
Title: Christ Asleep during the Tempest
Artist: Eugene Delacroix
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 50.8 x 61 cm
Date: c 1853
The third miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in Matthew 8:23-27. It is known as Christ Calming the Storm.
Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Delacroix painted fourteen variations of this New Testament lesson in faith. In the earlier works, the seascape is more prominent; in the later ones, as here, Christ's bark occupies a more significant place. After Vincent van Gogh saw this version in Paris in 1886, he wrote, "The 'Christ in the Boat'—I am speaking here of the sketch in blue and green with touches of violet, red and a little citron-yellow for the nimbus, the halo—speaks a symbolic language through color alone."
Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix (April 1798 – August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as a leader of the French Romantic school. In 1815 he entered the studio of the neoclassical painter Pierre Narcisse Guérin, where he met Théodore Géricault, a romantic painter by whom he was much influenced. Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on color and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modeled form. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of color profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement.
Title: Christ in the Storm on the
Artist: Ludolf Backhuysen
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 58.4 x 72.4 cm
If the disciples thought the boat might sink with Jesus aboard, it was because they did not understand Jesus' identity. His power over the sea, however, forces them to grapple afresh with that question. Faith in Jesus' authority flows from conviction concerning his true identity. In biblical tradition it was God whom the seas obeyed, as in Psalm 89:9 “You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them”. The astonishment of Jesus' disciples is therefore understandable. Their cry for Jesus to save them reflects one sense of the Greek term save ("deliver safely") but probably also alludes on a literary level to Jesus' broader mission.
Ludolf Backhuysen (or Bakhuizen ) (December, 1630 – November, 1708) was a German-born painter who was the leading painter of seascapes in
Title: The Marriage at
Artist: Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen
Medium: Oil on panel
Size: 66 x 85 cm
Date: c. 1530
The second miracle account that displays Jesus' power over nature is recorded in John 2:1-10. It is known as the Wedding at
On the third day there was a wedding celebration in the
The subject of this candle-lit scene of a group of people sitting at table is probably a moment that preceded the miracle: the calling of
Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (Beverwijk c. 1503 -
Title: Wedding Feast at
Artist: Louis Kahan
Medium: Oil on canvas
Louis Kahan (1905-2002), was an Australian artist born in
The Gospel of John says the mother of Jesus was at the wedding and that Jesus and his disciples were also invited, perhaps implying that they got into town at the last minute and were invited to come along. Their unexpected presence at the wedding may account for the wine shortage. When the wine runs out Jesus responds to his mother’s request with a cryptic saying, literally "what [is there] to me and to you?" It occurs a number of times in the New Testament (Mt 8:29; Mk 1:24; 5:7; Lk 8:28). Here, the idiom "what [is there] to me and to you?" expresses distance, but not disdain. It is part of the larger theme that Jesus is guided by his heavenly Father and not by the agenda of any human beings, even his family. However, the main point of this episode is that it reveals Jesus' glory. More specifically, the promised time of restoration is expressed in the imagery of marriage and of an abundance of wine. Here indeed is the one they have been waiting for. He himself is the good wine that has been kept back until now.
Title: The Miraculous Draught of Fishes
Artist: Peter Paul Rubens
Medium: Black chalk, pen and oil on paper, stuck on canvas
Size: 55 x 85 cm
Location: National gallery,
The Miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds believed by many Christians to have been performed by Jesus Christ in the course of his ministry. These miracles are sometimes categorized into four groups: cures, exorcisms, resurrection of the dead and control over nature. The Gospels include eight pre-resurrection accounts concerning Jesus' power over nature. The first such account, as recorded in Luke 5:1-11, is The Miracle Draught of Fishes.
Jesus was standing on the
Sir Peter Paul Rubens (June 1577 – May 1640) was a prolific seventeenth-century Flemish painter, and a proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, color, and sensuality. Not only was he an enormously successful painter whose workshop produced a staggering number of works; but he also played an important diplomatic role in 17th-century European politics. Rubens's major business was altarpieces, particularly suitable for an artist who enjoyed working on a grand scale. The central part of the design for his The Miraculous Draught of Fishes shares imagery with the central panel of a triptych in Notre Dame au delà de la Dyle,
Title: Miraculous Catch
Artist: Anton Losenko
Medium: Oil on Linen
Size: 159.5 X 194 cm
Anton Pavlovich Losenko (August 1737 - December 1773) was born to the family of a Ukrainian cossack. Soon he became an orphan and at the age of seven was sent to a Court Choir in
Losenko depicts the Miraculous Catch as it is hauled ashore where people have gathered in order to witness the miracle. Peter has fallen down to one elbow before Christ to proclaim “I am a sinner”, as James, John and the others drag in the nets. This event signifies not only what disciples are called to do, but who the disciples are as they do it. Simon Peter and Jesus represent different sides of the theology that undergirds the community Jesus is forging. Simon, for his part, knows that he is a sinner who is not worthy to experience the benefits of God's power and presence - there is no presumption that God owes him anything. Jesus, exemplifying God's grace, makes it clear that such a humble approach to God is exactly what God will use. Losenko’s skillful blending of stoic classicism and realism, was powerful enough to make an impression on Catherine II of
Title: All Souls' Day
Artist: Witold Pruszkowski
Medium: Oil on Canvas
In Western Christianity, All Souls’ Day commemorates the faithful departed. The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven, may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. Traditionally, those observing All Souls’ day would attend the cemetery to visit, bless and decorate the graves. Loved ones often offer a spray of flowers or lighted candles. The lighted candles signify that the love, hope and joy they shared with departed shall be kept forever burning.
Pruszkowski’s haunting painting captures the both the ethereal otherworldliness of the cemetery, and the plaintive loss depicted on the young woman’s face. Rendered as though the viewer has interrupted a private moment of reflection, her eyes – wide - speak to us even through the diffuse light of the scene. Only a single candle burns. Faint, but resolute.
Witold Pruszkowski (1846 – October 10, 1896) was a Polish painter and draughtsman. He lived his youth in