Christ as Majesty by Bernard Geldings (Figure #1) is a sculpture from Romanesque France and currently decorates the ambulatory of Saint-Serine in Toulouse. Image with Christ Penetrator is a Byzantine work that came from the Thessalonians Workshop in Greece and originated about four hundred years after Christ as Majesty (Figure ) was raised. Although the subject matter and context of the two Christian works are alike in many ways, the style and presentation vary drastically. Christ as Majesty (Figure #1) is a figurative, marble relief sculpture.
It features Christ sedentary and has a book propped up between his left hand and knee. The book is inscribed with “Paxar obis”; Latin for “Peace unto you” which appears in the gospels and is still used today as liturgy salutations. 1 His other hand gives a gesture of blessing. The figure here is framed by an oblong, almond border-?a vesicle Pisces or Andorra; “In Christian art the Andorra OCCUrs most frequently in the Romanesque style and most prominently. “2 It is adorned with diamond and circular shapes engraved into the marble. There are also various symbols around the figure of Christ.
Starting at the viewer’s top left, there is an eagle, opposite to that is an angel; on the bottom corners from left to right are an ox and a lion. These all denote the four evangelists, John, Matthew, Luke and Mark and respectively. Christ is also shown here with a halo with an implied equilateral cross within it. His eyes are either closed or without pupils or cornea, it is unclear in the sculpture itself. Due to this, the facial expression of Christ in the relief is lacking. Image with Christ Penetrator (Figure #2) is an icon painted with tempura and gold on wood.
The figure of Christ stands in front of the golden background, true to the Byzantine style of elevating divine characters with the use of a radiant and ambiguous setting. Christ is shown in this piece sans a Andorra unlike Figure #1 . Above Chrism’s shoulders, there are four Greek inscriptions symmetrically placed at each corner of the gold background. Synonymous with Christ as Majesty (Figure #1), Image with Christ Penetrator (Figure #2) is holding a book with his left hand as well; the sacred books in both works are shown open. The book in this case (in Figure #2) is the gospel according to Matthew.
The page it’s open to emphasizes the forgiveness of sins. The gesture of the free hand is again giving a sign of blessing. The icon wows Christ with large expressive eyes and highlights all around his face, neck and hand. The concept of Christ adopting the role as “Penetrator” is arguably one of the most important contrasts between the ;o works. Byzantine penetrator subjects, “(literally ‘the One who holds all in his hands’)… Speak of a Christ who creates, sustains, and rules the world-?just the kind of figure one might suspect from a culture where the emperor was a surrogate of God on earth and ruled with absolute power. 3 In Image with Christ Penetrator (Figure #2), Christ is shown as the All-Mighty ruler. There’s no representation of much else other than Christ. Unlike the Romanesque relief (Figure #1), the penetrator has lost the symbols Of the four evangelists as well as all of the intricate details surrounding Christ. Today, Christ as Majesty (Figure #1) is presented in the ambulatory of Saint-Serine though the original placement of the relief only can be speculated. Some scholars believe that this piece was once part of a shrine for Saint Saturnine in the crypt underneath the church. This sculpture is a part of a group of seven marble sculptures.
However, the con Image with Christ Penetrator (Figure #2) was likely either in the central dome or in the apse of the church of Saint Sophia in Thessalonians. This specific placement of the icon is instrumental as a device in reminding the congregation who it is that rules over all things and who is the one to seek for forgiveness of their sins. When one considers the origin of each work, it isn’t a wonder how these artworks are stylized in different ways. Christ as Majesty (Figure #1) was sculpted in France around 1 096 and features rounded curves all throughout the figures body and the rest of the relief.
The roundness and lines of the drapery of this Romanesque sculpture one might agree parallel the early Buddhist carvers of the Far East. Scholars believe that the composition of the sculpture (Figure #1) might have been utilized in Carolingian or Atoning metalwork or ivory carvings. In contrast the icon from Greece (Figure #2), is mostly flat aside and the most attention to detail is place in his face rather than the rest of the piece as in Christ in Majesty (Figure #1). Image with Christ Penetrator (Figure #2) allowed worshippers to feel connected to the All-