h,in he asks, when his disciples all had short* cropped hair? I The were that different Looking From his apostles, there would have heen ino need for Judas lu idertlijy him 1 wilt] a ki-,- tu iht Ronlan authorities, and llie Pharisees could have saved ili^ir m-.rn v" Interestingly, Epiphaniuss objections are contradicted on many early ( hristian works of art, where a juxtaposition of long-haired Jesus and short haired apostles is fairly i see figi. L 3, 20, and 32, for ex .lim pJej.
I entulus's description als ïre or less agrees with the details uf
Jesus' fealurvH in .i famous ac<ount oi .1 ''from life" portrait oí lesits: the miraculous image acquired by King Abgar of Edessa, who, suffering from a dread illness, &might a miraculous cure from Jesus the healer, Several different versiunsof the legend ejiist, but according loa genera outline, Abgar sent his personal scribe to Jesus with a letter imploring him U < t orne I« I dessa tti aid the ailing king. Jesus . on Id not ï ome himself, but he wrote a reply promising that one of his apostles would arrive in his stead. Sometime a fte i Jesus' aseen sioiuThaddeu s arrived in Edessi and performed the i;are as well as evangelizing illc court. In later ver s s of the Abgar stör however, that cure ïvj-, effected by contact with a portrait of Christ rh.-.L returned to t:dess,i -.villi Ahgar's messenger scribe, who either painled ii himself or .h-. :>tven .i miraculous image (made ^ithout hands), when lesus wiped his fací upon a towel. "
However the story was told, the image that Abgar's servant brought hack to Hdessa was revered as an authentic and miraculous ima^e of Christ, It became one of the holiest images ir. the Hast, known -v> the AL/JiMm/t. ï'bt sanctity and |>ower of the portrait was demons1 rated by its ability to destroy competing religious idols and to save thí kingdom of Edessa from enemy invasions. In ihe sixth century, Evagrius recounted hnw the cloth had been used to repel Persian .mi.il Hidden m the city walls and then rediscovered in :\vj tenth ten tut y, Mil' relic was removed to ( onstantinople, where Emperor ( lonstantine Pùrphyrogen itos c( mm issi< med an i >fñcial history of the Mandylion.' Alth< >ugh multitudes o' . opiesof the original portrait were made possibly one found its way to Egypt where il was Seen by the Piacenza pilgrim), the actual MarfityHort itself was lost, finally disappearing from Constantinople when Christian crusaders sacked lhal city .ii the beginning of lhe thirteenth century.
I >esjiite its variants, the story ofthe miraculous image of I dessa was reg:ii'i. I L i. I n 111 only a.s prou f of t he di v ine a pproval as well as 1 h e val i d il y and power of holy images, but also as a record of how Jesus "really 1 tin kid." So, while I He original Mandylion was I tint, i:s innumerable copies, found throughout the Eastern Christian world in particular, share certain basic features. Mtusl particularly, the portrait ■ I i hriit only shows Ins face and haii on an otherwise empty field (the lit^'ii cloth), C hrist's eyes look ir.iil;In otit. under well-defined brows and high forehead 11 is no^- is long and narrow, with a small mouth
beneath a rather drooping mustache and above a beard that comes to two points (fig, 57). The hair of his head is parted at the center and hangs to his shoulders.
The story of Ahgar and his miraculous portrait has a Western parallel in the legend and subsequent tradition of the veil of Veronica (also called the Sudarium). This famous image was also made "without hands" when Christ's face left its imprint on a cloth held out to Jesus by the woman Veronica, while he was going through Jerusalem toward Calvary. Veronica's name means "true image" of course, and she is sometimes identified with the woman with the hemorrhage whom Jesus healed. Although neither the portrait nor the Veronica legend can be clearly dated any earlier than the twelfth century, the cloth was accepted as authentic, was promoted by Pope Innocent ID in the thirteenth century, and quickly found its place among the most sacred objects of the Roman church (kept among the treasures of Saint Peter's Basilica). A representation of Veronica and her image became a permanent fixture
Fig, S7. Mandylion. 20th can. icon in the Hoi/'Trinity Greek OrthodoK Church, Nashvi le. Tenrv (Photo Author).
in Catholic piety when it became the sixth station of Lhe cross. Like the Mandylion, however, this actual Sudarium disappeared 111 the sack of Rome by German troops in 1527 and was reportedly sold in a tavern by Lutheran soldiers, ■ Rediscovered in the seventeenth century, it generated a vast number of copies that were distributed all over Europe (fig. 58).
Fig 58.Saint Veronica, Master of Saint Veronica, 1100. oil on wood, Nat onaJ Gallery jondon (Photo: Erich Les&ing/ Art Resource, N,Y).
Fg. i>9. Christ Pantocratcn; 6ti cen. C.E encaustic on p^nel, Monaster/ of St, Gather r*e, Mt Sinai (Photo: |=gypt Ancient An Collection, BHdgeman Art Library).
Like Lhe Mandylion, the Veronica portrait shows the face of Christ without any background. It often appears (as does the Mandylion) as a feature of a larger painting, the portrait upon the cloth held by Veronica herself, saints, or angels. The face of Jesus is bearded and dark, with curling long hair, parted in the center and reaching to his shoulders, Jesus1 nose is long and straight; his mustache droops dowji to meet a forked beard. These two traditional images have much in common with another "miraculous image,*' the Shroud of Turin, as well as bearing significant resemblance to the earliest (sixth-century) Byzantine panel paintings of Christ, like the Teacher from the Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai (fig. 59), Earlier portraits of Christ also bear some similarities, however, including the fourth- and early fifth-century portraits of Christ from the Catacomb of Co mm od-illa (fig, 11, p. 31 }♦
These two miraculously received images and their legends (including their amazing travels and rediscoveries) became rather entwined with one another iti the Middle Ages, and their details are difficult to distinguish. And while these stories clearly have enormous implications for the Byzantine and Western cult of images, neither the details of these stories nor the questions of their veracity areas important to this discussion as the matter of what constitutes an authentic portrait of Christ. In both of these cases, a claim is made not only that the portrait of Christ was made from life but also that it was produced miraculously. However, a much simpler assertion, that a certain artist painted an image of Jesus during his lifetime, can be dated fairly early—the reference by Irenaeus to the Carpocratians* possession of a portrait of Jesus "from life," made by Pilate.'+ Since Irenaeus shows no obvious doubt about this, one wonders whether other such claims were in circulation ,
Furthermorej since the details of Christ's appearance on the Mandylion and Sudarium aTe quite similar (long dark hair parted in the center, forked beard, and so forth), the matter of their bearing an actual £llikeness11 is mutually supported. Unlike ordinary portraits, however, these images "made without hands'* were alleged to be imprints produced by direct contact with Christ's body, making them "reverse" or
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