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Christians believe Jesus "was one of us, related to us," Kershisnik says. "Gods had never been related to us in the history of the world. So my Jesus would look like me."
Thus we see Christ giving the Sermon on the Mount wearing a Roman toga, surrounded by Danish-looking followers. But there’s a boy touching a butterfly in the crowd.
Exhibit opens next month
“Sacred Gifts: The Religious Art of Carl Bloch, Heinrich Hofmann and Frans Schwartz” runs from Nov. 15 through May 10 at Brigham Young University’s Museum of Art in Provo. Patrons are urged to reserve their free tickets as early as possible. Most paintings in the exhibition will be on view throughout the show, according to the museum’s website, but the eight Bloch paintings on loan from the Frederiksborg Castle will be shown four at a time. For more information, go to http://sacredgifts.byu.edu/exhibition.
From the Bible
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
1 John 3:2
Those small details "make you feel he’s there, and you’re with him," says Kershisnik, who served a Mormon mission in Denmark. "Bloch captured something that feels accurate to the experience of Jesus."
Hofmann, too, created a "complicated savior," he says, "who could be loving and approachable but who might also be angry with you, who might reprove the disciples."
It’s an image that large groups of people could see and say, "Yes, that’s my Jesus."
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