Skip to main content

About Jesus' Face in the Vallotton Illustrations

Vallotton's Bible illustrations were famously published throughout the pages of the Good News Bible. Their dramatic postures and lack of minute detail made them perfect for the page sizes and modern tone of that Bible. But her reason for not including details of Jesus' face goes deeper than that.

Vallotton image of Jesus calming the storm

Don Griggs, a friend of Annie Vallotton and patron, shared this explanation with us:

Annie wrote us saying, “By using few lines the readers fill in the outlines with their own imagination and freedom. I want the ones viewing the drawing to see Jesus in their own way, using their creativity to imagine how Jesus would look.

John Fea, author of a history of the American Bible Society—the folks who published Vallotton's work in the Good News Bible—wrote this explanation:

"The American Bible Society believes these drawings transcended nationality, language, and race. By omitting facial details, skin color, and other cultural indicators on her figures, Valloton hopes that every reader will see their own Jesus; one that was particularly right for him or her."

The illustrations in the Griggs collection featured here at Rotation.org are similar to but NOT the same illustrations used in the Good News Bible (GNB).

Most of the people in the Griggs-Vallotton collection DO have facial features, no doubt, in part because they were commissioned for a work that featured larger versions of her illustrations than those found in the GNB. But Vallotton continued to leave Jesus' face up to the viewer, and we might add, grace us with the volumes spoken by his posture and gestures and the people reacting to his message.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
Original Post

Here are two sets of sample images from the Vallotton collection everyone can view.

This page also includes the full-sized Jesus and Peter image used at the top of this forum.

Click to enlarge

VallottonSamples1VallottonSamples2PeterJesusFeet-ForumLogo1

Become a Supporting Member today
to get access to the entire Vallotton Gospel Illustrations Collection!

Attachments

Images (4)
  • PeterJesusFeet-ForumLogo1
  • VallottonSamples1
  • VallottonSamples2
  • Vallotton-Gospel-Image-Samples
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Add Reply

Post a New Topic
Lesson or Resource

Rotation.org Inc. is a volunteer-run, 100% member supported, 501(c)3 non-profit Sunday School lesson ministry. You are welcome to borrow and adapt content for non-commercial teaching purposes --as long as both the site and author are referenced. Rotation.org Inc reserves the right to manage, move, condense, delete, and otherwise improve all content posted to the site. Read our Terms of Service.
Rotation.org is rated5 stars on Google based on 51 reviews. Serving a global community including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, S. Africa, and more!

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×