Religion: Familiar Faces

No one knows what the apostles and disciples really looked like. Even so, argues Artist Ade Bethune in Sacred Signs, a bulletin interested in liturgical arts, modern painters seeking to portray Christ's first followers should not consider themselves free to draw as they see fit. Instead, the contemporary painter should respect "the collective memory of the Church" by following the traditional portrait guidelines that were laid down by the early Christian painters. These models are still followed by the icon makers of the Eastern churches—and, in the case of Christ, by most Western painters.

According to the rules of iconography, St. Peter...

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