St Albans cathedral, United Kingdom has displayed a version of the Last Supper with Jesus as a black man in support of Black Lives Matter.
The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, said: “The church is not in a strong position to preach to others about justice, racial or otherwise. But our faith teaches that we are all made equally in the image of God, and that God is a God of justice.
“Black Lives Matter, so this is why we have turned our Altar of the Persecuted into a space for reflection and prayer with Lorna’s altarpiece at the heart.”
Explaining thinking behind the painting, Ms Wadsworth said she cast Jamaican-born model Tafari Hinds for the painting, titled A Last Supper, to “make people question” their ideas of who Jesus was.
She added: “Painting the Last Supper altarpiece made me really think about how we are accustomed to seeing Jesus portrayed. Experts agree he would most likely have had Middle Eastern features, yet for centuries European artists have traditionally painted Christ in their own image.
“My portrayal of him is just as ‘accurate’ as the received idea that he looked like a Florentine. I also knew that, from a previous portrait of Tafari, there is something in his countenance that people find deeply empathetic and moving, which is the overriding quality I wanted my Christ to embody.”
A Last Supper will be available to view at the Altar of the Persecuted in St Albans Cathedral’s north transept.
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