Good and Evil in Christian Art
For my creative task in which we were asked to create an original work of religious art for one the major world religious traditions, I decided to choose Christianity because it appealed more to me than the other religions stated. As my main theme in my artwork I chose Good and Evil, which turned out to be quite a good key religious theme in my artwork. My artwork is in the form of a drawing.
The biggest inspiration for my art piece comes from Gustave Dore’s interpretation of “The Temptation of Jesus”. Dore’s sketch depicts Jesus fasting and praying for forty days and nights in the desert, before he meets his fate. He is confronted by the devil, who tries to tempt Jesus away from his devotion to God. The striking pose of the humble Jesus ignoring the devil and remaining loyal to God inspired me in many ways to do good and evil as the key religious them in my artwork.
My artwork depicts Satan lying on the floor in a position where it looks as if he is calling for mercy, and, on the right of Satan, there is Jesus, standing tall and upright, remaining loyal to his one God and rejecting Satan as he did in the desert. The base for my artwork is cardboard. After using a pencil to do a rough outline of my artwork, I used earthy, brown colours to reoutline the ground to give it more detail. Using coloured pencils, I was able to add colour to my base artwork.
As with many other artworks my artwork contains some symbolism. I mainly used black and red for the devil to symbolize death, darkness and ignorance. Jesus has a gold halo above his head, representing holiness and wisdom. Jesus’ robe is white, symbolizing purity, divinity and innocence. One recurring thing I found in regards to the way Satan was portrayed in similar art pieces to mine was that they either depicted him as powerful and evil or they depicted him as a conniving, senseless being.
Disregarding this re-occurring theme I found in other art pieces, I decided to take a different approach. Instead, I depicted Satan as a pathetic individual, desperate to ‘convert’ Jesus to his side. There is a look of desperation on Satan’s face as he tempts Jesus into surrendering by offering him a vast amount of land over the cliff’s edge in the horizon. In my artwork, I tried to embody my key religious theme of good over evil, and my drawing teaches its viewers that there can be rewards from turning away from temptation.
My artwork is effective to use in prayer, worship and teaching. Its symbolism, colours and details make most want to gaze upon it as a way of relating its core theological messages into their own lives. As stated in the previous paragraph, the artwork can teach its Christian viewers to turn away from evil and to worship only one God. It is also used to teach others that the rewards of turning away from temptation can be very rewarding. In Jesus’ case, he stayed loyal to God and shunned Satan away, a valuable lesson to many these days to remain loyal.