The Life of Christ, Part I


Paintings by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–90)

Twenty-eight years ago, a selection of paintings on the life of Jesus by nineteenth-century Danish painter Carl Heinrich Bloch was published in one of the Church magazines of the day. Since then, scenes from that selection have been used many times in Church manuals and publications, including the Tambuli. Now, with the original works cleaned and rephotographed, we are presenting this selection again—in two parts—to tell the matchless story of the Lord.

Eighteen of the twenty paintings are on the walls of the oratory in the Frederiksborg Castle church. Today, castle and church are a museum of national history and a Danish treasure. Because of the paintings’ wide use for Church publications, representatives of the Church approached Frederiksborg Museum officials last year. We desired to rephotograph the paintings and asked if it would be possible for the scenes to be taken from the walls to receive better photographic lighting. Museum officials accepted the request, concluding also that while the paintings were down, they should be cleaned to make vivid again colors that had been dimmed by a century of accumulating dust while on public display.

Following this cleaning, the museum photographed the paintings, eighteen of which are reproduced in this series. In addition to the Frederiksborg paintings, two other paintings by Bloch are included in this series: the scene at the pool of Bethesda (inside back cover), located at Bethesda Dansk Indre Mission, Copenhagen, and the scene of Thomas kneeling before the resurrected Jesus (which will appear in next month’s issue), located at the church in Uggerlose, near Copenhagen.

In part two, we will publish the remainder of the works and trace the life of their highly skilled creator, Carl Heinrich Bloch.—The Editors

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“The angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt … bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall … be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:30–32, 35).

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“When Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she … said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb” (Luke 1:41–42).

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“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

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“The angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day … a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).

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“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46–47).

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“Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matt. 4:10).

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“The ruler of the feast … tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) … This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee” (John 2:9, 11).

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“When he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, … And said unto them … , Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise” (John 2:15–16).

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“Jesus … said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water … shall be in him a well … springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13–14).

[illustrations] Paintings by Carl Heinrich Bloch