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Christian Art

Posters, Post cards, Christmas cards & Note cards

Christian Musicological Society of India has produced and copyrighted the following works as part of a project Christianity in India through Art. Posters, post cards, Christmas cards, and note cards of these art works are available from us.

To purchase copies, please click here.


  1. Christ the Guru
  2. The Persian Cross
  3. Mother of Wisdom
  4. Angel playing a five-stringed violin
  5. The Blessed Virgin and Child
  6. Shah Jehan with Angel musicians






Christ the Guru

Oil painting by M. P. Manoj, based on the original drawing by Joy Elamkunnapuzha, CMI.

  • Posters are available in three sizes:
    Large: 22.5" x 31.5" / 57 cms x 80 cms.
    Medium: 16.5" x 22.75" / 42 cms x 57.5 cms.
    Small: 15.5" x 11.5" / 39 cms x 28 cms.

  • Post cards

  • Note cards (blank inside) with description of the picture printed on the back. Available in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes.

  • Bookmarks in English, Spanish, and German.

    Description:

    Joy Elamkunnapuzha drew the original design in 1977, and V. Balan executed it in mosaic style on the facade of the Chapel at Dharmaram College in Bangalore, India. Christ is presented here as a yogi in meditation under the sacred peepal tree. He is seated in padmaasanam, the lotus posture. The calm and compassionate look on the face depicts the image of the ideal guru , spiritual teacher, in the Indian scriptures. The hand gestures show jnaanamudra, the sign of imparting knowledge and wisdom that dispel darkness (the Sanskrit term guru is a combination of gu, "darkness," and ru, "that which dispels").

    The red color on the hands and feet shows the nail marks from crucifixion. They are the signs that St. Thomas, the Apostle of India insisted on as proof of Jesus's resurrection (Jn 20: 24-29). The equal-armed cross is presented in the form of a flower. The flame represents both Christ and the devotee alike; it is a reminder of two complementary sayings of Jesus: "I am the light of the world" (Jn 8:12) and "You are the light of the world" (Mt 5: 14). The two halves of a coconut, often placed at the forefront during religious rituals in India, is a symbol of self-sacrifice. The chalice with bread and grapes represents the sacrificial gift of Jesus in the holy Eucharist.

    M. P. Manoj made this painting in 1993. Manoj made a few modifications in the original design, including a different color scheme. The entire figure, except the circular ring holding the lamp, is made of triangles, symbolizing the Christian concept of God as a trinity of three persons. Instead of the earthen lamp in the original, the flame here comes from a hanging oil lamp ( tuukku vilakku). This kind of lamp can be seen at traditional homes and places of public worship, especially in Kerala.

    -- Joseph J. Palackal

    To purchase copies, please click here.




    The Persian Cross

    Granite cross with inscriptions in Sassanian-Pahlavi (Middle Persian). Circa 7th century AD. St. Thomas Mount (Periyamalai), Mylapore, Chennai, India.

  • Posters: 19.5" x 14.5" / 49.5 cms x 37 cms.

  • Post cards

    Description

    This granite cross is one of the two earliest available material witnesses to the presence of a flourishing faith in the southern part of India in the early Christian era. The cross dates back to the middle of the 7th century AD, by which time the Indian Christians had established close ecclesial relationship with the Persian Church. It was found at St. Thomas Mount, near Mylapore, in Chennai where St. Thomas the Apostle is believed to have attained martyrdom. The cross is both an artwork and an object of veneration. It is mounted on a pedestal with three steps. Floral decorations adorn the base, and the Holy Spirit is seen as descending on the top in the form of a dove. All the four arms are ornamented. The two lions sitting comfortably on the pillars hold a three-layered canopy above. The inscriptions are in Sassanian-Pahlavi or Middle Persian, the court language of the Persian Empire. The reading of the inscription as well as its meaning remains inconclusive. Similar crosses in bas-relief with the same inscription can be found in some of the ancient churches in Kerala. In view of its antiquity and symbolic value, the Government of India used the image of this cross on the postal stamp issued in 1972 to commemorate the nineteenth centenary of the martyrdom of the Apostle.

    -- Joseph J. Palackal

    To purchase copies, please click here.




    Mother of Wisdom

    Stained glass work by Moyalan Glass Works, Ollur, Kerala, based on the original design by Joy Elamkunnapuzha, CMI (2004) for the library at Vidyavanam Ashram, Bangalore 560 083, India.

  • Posters: 17.75" x 10.25" / 45 cms x 26 cms.

  • Post cards

  • Note cards (blank inside) available in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes.

  • Christmas cards (in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes)

  • Bookmarks in English, Spanish, and German.

    Description

    Clad in a sari, the traditional Indian dress, the Virgin presents her son, the Word incarnate, to the world. She holds a lotus bud in her hand, but the son's gaze is on the devotees, welcoming them with open arms. She stands on a pond with lotus flowers; the lotus, the national flower of India, prefigures in the ancient Sanskrit literature as a symbol of purity and seat of the Supreme Being; rooted in mud and mundane realities, the flower remains unstained and retains its resplendent beauty; similarly, by virtue of the immaculate conception, the Virgin became a pure dwelling place for the Divine Child. A peacock at the bottom left looks up in expectation; the figure of the peacock, the national bird of India, slowly transforms into multicolored rays of the sun; seven rays originate from inside the halo. The crescent moon, weaving through the rays, serves as a second halo to mother and son; it is a reminder of the Virgin's role as the reflector of the light of Jesus. Multilayered clouds in many hues merge with water, indicating the meeting of heaven and earth, and divinity and humanity in the person of the infant Jesus.

    -- Joseph J. Palackal

    To purchase copies, please click here.




    Angel playing a five-stringed violin

    Wooden reredos of the Main altar, St. Mary's Forane Church, Pallippuram, Cherthala, Kerala, India. Circa 17th century.

  • Post cards

  • Christmas cards (in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes)

  • Note cards (blank inside), available in packets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes.

    To purchase copies, please click here.




    The Blessed Virgin and Child

    St. Thomas Mount (Periyamalai), Mylapore, Chennai, India

  • Christmas cards (in sets of 10 cards and 10 envelopes)

    To purchase copies, please click here.




    Shah Jehan with Angel musicians

    Print on paper in color and gold. Circa mid-17th century (height: 53.4 cm, width: 36.9 cm).

    Description

    Shah Jahan (1592-1666), the fifth ruler of the Mughal Empire and the creator of the Taj Mahal, is riding upon his royal horse on the rugged banks of the river Jamuna. Taj Mahal is not built, yet. Following the Christian tradition introduced to the Mughal court by the Jesuit missionaries at the time of Akhbar, the Emperor appears like a saint with a halo around his head. Four angels, two on each side of the divine effulgence, descend from the heavenly clouds. The angel on the right counteracts the sharpness of the Emperor's spear with the sweetness of music flowing from the trumpet. The second angel on the right is putting the third necklace on the shoulder of the Emperor. The second angel on the left is offering a crown, and the angel at the extreme left is holding...

    Not much is known about the painting. The unknown author singed at the bottom as `Amal Khurram', which literally means `work of Khurram'. Khurram (Persian, `Joyful') is the birth-name of Shah Jahan, given to him by his grandfather, Akhbar.

    A painting of Shah Jahan in a similar style and probably from the same period, is at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C.; in that painting, the Emperor stands on a globe, with three angels appearing from the clouds, offering him a crown, canopy, and an ornamented sword.

    The framed copy of this painting was given to me as a gift by Thomas Arena from New York, in March 2009. The copy was in his possession for over forty years. Mr. Arena could not recall from whom or where he bought the painting. If any one has more information on this painting or the whereabouts of the original work, kindly contact us.

    -- Joseph J. Palackal