Change Your Life
Neil MacGregor focuses on images with a purpose, including a gruesome depiction of Christ's crucifixion, with blood raining from the body, and a serene figure of the Buddha.
Neil MacGregor continues his series about the expression of shared beliefs with a focus on images which seek to change the viewer's behaviour.
A small coloured wood-cut, created in the Netherlands around 1500, offers a particularly gruesome rendering of Christ's crucifixion. Christ is pictured with blood pouring from his torso, his head, his legs and his outstretched arms. These are not realistically arranged droplets; instead we see a flurry of vertical red strokes, tightly packed together and evenly spaced. Neil MacGregor reflects on the purpose of this image.
He also considers a serene figure of the Buddha, a halo behind his head, already in his enlightened state.
Producer Paul Kobrak
Produced in partnership with the British Museum
Photograph (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.