Jump to: navigation, search

Letter of Lentulus

15 bytes removed, 02:24, December 1, 2012
No Greek original for the letter is known to exist, but there are at least three passages in Greek writings earlier than the 15th century Lentulus manuscripts, which give similar descriptions concerning the appearance of our Lord [[Jesus Christ]].<ref name="CORA"/>
Closest in time to the Lentulus letter is the description found in the 14th century ''Ecclesiastical History'' of [[w:Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos|Nicephorus Callistus]], in a section entitled: "On the divine and human features of our Saviour, [[Jesus Christ]]."<ref>[[w:Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos|Nicephorus Callistus]]. ''Ecclesiastica Historia.'' I.40 (''[[w:Patrologia Graeca|P.G.]], CXLV. 748-750'').</ref> With the prefatory "As we have learned from the ancients," the author notes a number of significant details: blond hair, thick, and falling into waves over the shoulders; dark eyebrows; short blond beard; eyes dark and remarkably kindly, but sharp; light complexion, slightly ruddy; face showing gravity, prudence, and gentleness, very like his [[Theotokos|Mother]].<ref name="CORA"/>
Another description, probably first set down in the 11th century, was edited in the 18th century by the monk [[w:Dionysius of Fourna|Dionysius of Fourna]] in a ''Handbook of Painting,''<ref group="note">For the French translation by P. Durand, see: [[w:Adolphe Napoleon Didron|N. Didron]]. ''Manuel d'iconographie chretienne.'' Paris, 1845. p.452.</ref> a guide to Christian [[iconography]] that treats of the methods and materials of painting and the works of art from [[Mount Athos]]. It occurs in a section entitled: "On the countenance and form of our Lord as we have learned it from those who have seen Him with their own eyes." Here the author mentions gentleness as the salient characteristic of the face. He also notes: beautiful eyebrows that meet; lovely eyes; beautiful white nose; complexion like ripe grain; curly golden hair; dark beard; fingers long and slender; gentle bearing, very like his Mother.<ref name="CORA"/>

Navigation menu