Portrait of Christ, the Savior: I am the Way, the truth and the Light
In reference to this picture which was his own personal picture of the Savior, Mr. Hofmann said,
“I wanted to hang it over my bed and when I went to rest in the evening, it should look at me, earnestly scrutinizing and ask: Have you lived this day in my spirit according to my commandments?”
“In his lifetime many people questioned Hofmann about his model for the boy Jesus. He responded, “when I read about Christ in the Bible, there areises spontaneously before my fancy a picture of him which I try to retain and reporduce–that is my only prototype.”
-Heinrich Hofmann refering to his picture Jesus in the Temple
I felt so deeply touched by the Sacred Gifts Exhibit
at BYU this weekend. I love art and I love my Savior so the two combined was incredible. At the beginning of the movie there was a statement that said this exhibit brining together the works of Bloch, Schwartz and Hofmann was 12 years in the making. How incredible is that? There is something to be said for being able to see the originals. I feel like there are aspects and meaning to the picture that aren’t and really can’t be expressed in a print.
I delighted so much in a sweet volunteer who as I was looking at the last picture in the exhibit (at least in the order I went), Jesus Teaching in the Temple, who pointed out that in all of Heinrich Hofmann’s faces of Christ looked the same. As I looked at other pictures, I immediately recognized that she was correct. She told us that he had prayed to receive a vision that he could know Christ and how to paint him. She said that Carl Bloch used models. As I revisited paintings throughout the exhibit, I realized she was correct and the art became even more deeply moving to me.
I love that Mr. Hofmann had such a love for the Savior that he painted this picture above for himself. That he might make sure that his life was in line, that he would not just paint the Savior but pray and seek to really know Him and to live his teachings.