This painting was completed in 1940 by local artist Leon Lippert. His use of gauche and the choice to paint the image as if it was created through mosaic make the work unique.
This is a depiction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is a devotion from Catholicism dedicated to being grateful for and loving to Jesus Christ who gave all of Himself out of love. His "heart" is surrounded by a crown of thorns. The flame represented Jesus' heart being "aflame" with love for each and every human. His hands show the marks of the nails from His crucifixion. The fingers of His right hand are held in blessing. Catholics who follow this devotion pray specifically to Jesus in gratitude to His Sacred Heart.
Leon emigrated from the tiny village of Sailauf, Germany at the age of 17, and settled in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky area in 1885. He attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He painted from his own studio in Cincinnati for more than 60 years. Known for portraitures, he was also a renowned landscape artist. He was also called upon to do numerous works for area churches. He was the father of three with wife Wilhelmina. He painted until his death at age 84.
This painting was donated to the Museum by Leon’s grandson who felt it needed to be a part of this collection.
Further teaching regarding Jesus Christ:
Jesus (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity. Most Christians believe He is the incarnation of God the Son and the awaited Messiah (the Christ) prophesied in the Old Testament.
Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed historically, although the quest for the historical Jesus has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels, and on how closely the Jesus portrayed in the Bible reflects the historical Jesus. Jesus was a Galilean Jew who was baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus' cousin, and began His own ministry. He preached orally, and was often referred to as "Rabbi". Jesus debated with fellow Jews on how to best follow God, engaged in healings, taught in parables, and gathered followers. He was arrested and tried by the Jewish authorities, turned over to the Roman government, and crucified on the order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect. After His death, His followers believed He rose from the dead, and the community they formed eventually became the early Catholic Church.
Christian doctrines include the beliefs that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin named Mary, performed miracles, instituted the Christian Church, died by crucifixion as a sacrifice to achieve atonement for sin, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, from where He will return. Most Christians believe Jesus enables people to be reconciled to God. The Nicene Creed asserts that Jesus will judge the living and the dead either before or after their bodily resurrection, an event tied to the Second Coming of Jesus in Christian eschatology.
The great majority of Christians worship Jesus as the incarnation of God the Son, the second of three persons of the Trinity. A minority of Christian denominations reject Trinitarianism, wholly or partly, as non-scriptural. The birth of Jesus is celebrated annually on December 25 (or various dates in January by some eastern churches) as Christmas. His crucifixion is honored on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter. The widely used calendar era "AD", from the Latin anno Domini ("year of the Lord"), and the equivalent alternative "CE" (Common Era), are based on the approximate birthdate of Jesus.
Jesus is also revered outside of Christianity. In Islam, Jesus (commonly transliterated as Isa) is considered one of God's important prophets and the Messiah. Muslims believe Jesus was born of a virgin, but was neither God nor the son of God. The Quran states that Jesus never claimed divinity. Most Muslims do not believe that He was crucified, but that He was physically raised into Heaven by God. In contrast, Judaism rejects the belief that Jesus was the awaited Messiah, arguing that He did not fulfill Messianic prophecies, and was neither divine nor resurrected.