Last Supper Painting Featuring Black Jesus to be Displayed at St. Albans Cathedral in the UK

The painting “A Last Supper” by Lorna May Wadsworth, which depicts Jesus Christ as a Black man. | Lorna May Wadsworth

A painting depicting the last supper with Jesus Christ shown as a black man will be temporarily installed at a historic cathedral in the U.K.

St. Albans Cathedral will install the painting, titled “A Last Supper” by Lorna May Wadsworth, who used Jamaican-born model Tafari Hinds as her inspiration for how Jesus would look.

Inspired by the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting, the Wadsworth piece will be on display at the Cathedral’s Altar of the Persecuted on Saturday through Oct. 31.

In a statement shared with The Christian Post, the cathedral said the purpose of displaying the artwork is to show its support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Very Rev. Jeffrey John, dean of St. Albans, said in the statement that he believed the church was “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,” he added. “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.”

In comments posted to the cathedral’s website, Wadsworth said she felt inspired to challenge people over the “Western myth that” Jesus “had fair hair and blue eyes.”

“My portrayal of him is just as ‘accurate’ as the received idea that he looked like a Florentine,” she said. “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.”

Debates over the racial depictions of Jesus have been a source of periodic controversy, especially when some have advocated for vehement rejection of western imagery portraying Him as white.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski