Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Alexamenos Worships His God Redux

The Alexamenos graffito (also known as the graffito blasfemo, or blasphemous graffito) is a piece of Roman graffiti scratched in plaster on the wall of a room near the Palatine Hill in Rome. It may be the earliest surviving depiction of Jesus, and if so is the earliest known pictorial representation of the Crucifixion. It is hard to date but has been estimated to have been made c. 200. The image seems to show a young man worshipping a crucified, donkey-headed figure. The Greek inscription reads something like "Alexamenos worships [his] God." The graffito was apparently meant to mock a Christian named Alexamenos.

I was interested in remaking this graffito as a painting because of it's surreal, fairy-tale like qualities, and for it's historical importance as the first Crucifixion image. Work in progress.

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