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Artist: David Wilson - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hartland, Michigan

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Artist / Studio

Artist

Sallman, Warner
Chicago, Illinois

Date of Birth: 04/30/1892

Death Year: 1968

Biography: Warner Sallman was a painter and freelance illustrator, who was well known for his oil portrait, The Head of Christ, which sold more than 500 million copies.
Sallman became interested in art at an early age, and was especially impacted by the religious art of Gustave Doré, a nineteenth century French illustrator known for his biblical images. Following graduation from high school, he apprenticed in local studios while attending the Chicago Art Institute. After a brief attempt to become established in New York, Sallman returned to Chicago and began his career as a commercial artist. Through the encouragement of a business associate, Sallman enrolled at a Bible school where he was asked by the dean of the school to create an historical and “masculine” image of Christ, in part from the quest for a historical Jesus among biblical scholars and popular print illustrators. Late nineteenth and early twentieth century sensibility focused on what Jesus looked like rather than what he did, as the result of a didactic method meant to visualize a special character-forming influence, especially on children. Engravings of various media depicting the life of Christ were originally reprinted in “picture” textbooks as devotional aids for children.
Throughout his career, Sallman produced a wide range of portraits of Christ, including Christ at Heart’s Door, Christ in Gethsemane, and Christ Our Pilot.

Head of Christ
Window Name: Head of Christ
Christ Our Pilot
Window Name: Christ Our Pilot
Nativity
Window Name: Nativity
Dutch Girl
Window Name: Dutch Girl
French Boy
Window Name: French Boy
Palestinian Boy
Window Name: Palestinian Boy
Japanese Girl
Window Name: Japanese Girl
Nepalese Girl
Window Name: Nepalese Girl