Dutch Photographer Bas Uterwijk’s Striking Jesus Christ Historically Accurate?

This artistic interpretation of what Jesus Christ may have looked like was created by Dutch photographer Bas Uterwijk
This artistic interpretation of what Jesus Christ may have looked like was created by photographer Bas Uterwijk. (Photo: Twitter/ganbrood)

Dutch photographer Bas Uterwijk has rendered a series of images of famous people, including Jesus Christ, using artificial intelligence.

Uterwijk’s photo of the first century Middle Eastern Jewish rabbi depicts Jesus with brown skin, brown eyes, and a short beard.

The Amsterdam artist “has a background in computer graphics, 3D animation, and special effects,” according to My Modern Met.

Uterwijk created three versions of Jesus, each with a subtle change in skin tone and hair length.

Uterwijk reportedly used existing works depicting Jesus with software called Art Breeder, “which generates photorealistic images from multiple images.”

According to Teller Report‘s translation of a French article on Uterwijk’s Jesus photos:

“For one of the images, I added a little historical truth,” he explains. “In one of the three versions, Jesus has shorter hair because historians do not believe that at that time, in the region of Galilee, in Israel, a man could have had hair so long.” …

“Sometimes I try to be as realistic as possible and sometimes I try to give a representation of how we perceive a character in history,” concludes the photographer.

Warner Sallman's Head of Christ painting
Warner Sallman’s “Head of Christ,” 1940.

Contrary to popular Western interpretations of Jesus’ appearance, researchers have long suggested that the historical Jesus likely had a brown or olive complexion and short hair. Popular images of the Christian Savior in the U.S. tend to resemble an Anglo, with blue eyes, pale skin, and long, flowing hair.

White Jesus
(Photo: Hans Zatzka [Public Domain]/The Conversation, CC BY-ND)
Uterwijk’s A.I.-generated portraits include dozens of well-known figures, including Napoleon, George Washington, and Vincent Van Gogh. In addition to his website, the images can be viewed on his Instagram account.


REPRINT REQUESTS | MEMBERSHIPS | GIVE


 

Help Keep Christian Media Diverse

Faithfully Magazine began in 2016/2017 with the mission to keep Christian media diverse by centering our content on Christian communities of color for an ethnically-inclusive audience. In that time, we’ve made an impact on Christian media and achieved meaningful milestones — such as creating a volunteer Associate Editor role, launching an Editorial Fellowship, and proudly paying our contributing writers. But we need your support to keep going. In addition to partnering with advertisers, nurturing a subscription/membership, and exploring paid live events, we rely on the generosity of readers who see value in our work and in our mission. We invite you to join us, and keep walking with us, in our mission. Every amount, big or small, empowers us to stay the course. Here are a few ways you can join us: We are grateful for your support. Thank you!
Share via

Report

Share via

What do you think?

Mentor

Written by FM Editors

Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.

Comments

Leave a Reply

    Pastor Kenneth J. Boller leads a "prayer for racial justice" at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City, August 30, 2020.

    St. Francis Xavier Church Leads Corporate ‘Prayer for Racial Justice’ (Video)

    fm 2020 special edition cover look

    Faithfully Magazine: 2020 Special Edition Preview (Where Do We Go From Here?)