London: If new research is to be believed, the 'Son of God' from Nazareth, Jesus Christ, was very different in appearance than what is shown in religious artwork.
That Jesus was not a Caucasian man with long light brown hair but was of dark complexion with short, dark, curly hair, is the inference being drawn from the path-breaking research by celebrated medical artist Richard Neave.
Using modern forensic techniques, Neave recreated the face of a typical Middle Eastern jew in the Galilee area of northern Israel which experts claim may be the face of Jesus Christ – more accurate than the paintings from the medieval era.
Interestingly, the Bible is mum on the physical description of Jesus and hence many, if not all, earlier pictures of Jesus may have been based on the society in which the painter lived or mere hearsay.
A report in the Daily Mail adds that that it was not until 400AD that Jesus began to be portrayed with a beard as philosophers of the era were typically depicted with facial hair.
In later centuries as Christianity took root in Europe, Christ got a fair skin, brown hair makeover.
This image got more recognition during the Italian Renaissance – the prime example being the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.