Adoration of the Lamb

1083 words 5 pages
Don Malarkey
Significance of the Lamb

The Adoration of the Lamb is Jan Van Eyck’s greatest accomplishments of a Renaissance painter. It was painted with oils in the third decade of the 15th century (Glover). This painting definitely has a lot going on in it. The painting is consisted of twelve panels where the outside panels can either be closed or open. There are many spiritual aspects in the painting; from the Holy family, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus; to Adam, Eve, and plenty of saints. The representation of these earthly and otherworldly figures shows the aspects of this world and the next. The lower middle piece physically reflects this with the horizon as the divider between the worlds. The saints and other peoples on the
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There are also references of Jesus where he refers to himself as the Lamb of God. In Christian teachings, The Lamb of God refers to Jesus as the sacrificial lamb. This shows how Jesus knew that he would suffer and be a sacrifice for us all. The lamb being sacrificed pertains to Passover, where the blood of the lamb was painted on the doorway so that the Angel of Death would know to pass over that household without killing the firstborn child. The Lamb has been used as a representation of Christ in many ways.
In this painting, the Lamb is representing Jesus in a number of ways. You can see around the Lamb’s head there is light shining from it. This can be considered a halo. Most of the time when Jesus is pictured in paintings, there is a halo surrounding his head clarifying his holiness. The blood of the Lamb is leaking into a chalice. This is represented in the mass when the wine is changed into Jesus’ blood on the altar. Jesus’ cross is also depicted near the altar. This is a reminder of how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. Some of the angels surrounding the altar are playing horns in celebration of this sacrifice. Even though this represents how Jesus died for us, it is a cause for celebration since our sins are forgiven and we are able to live fuller lives because of this. The rest of the angels are praying to the Lamb of God. The angels are showing the importance of prayer. Even they, who are in heaven with Christ, remember to pray and thank Jesus


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