The picture of Christ washing the feet of his disciples is an image extracted from a church in Munich, Germany in the eleventh century. In order to understand the iconographic meaning of the image, it is essential to understand the features of Romanesque art of the medieval period. The invasion of western crusaders into Europe brought innovative ideas and technologies, which played a crucial role in the creation and development of artistic skills. The picture is thus an influence of the Ottonian style of painting and the Byzantine art . The picture depicts the subject making use of outlined drawing dominated by gold. The background of the picture displays a balanced and controlled work when compared to the contemporary art works of the medieval period. The image resembles the Romanesque art, which portrays Jesus as a larger figure with longer fingers when compared to others . This notion of portraying Jesus explains his significance in the scene.
Furthermore, in terms of context, the picture describes the situation in which Jesus washes his disciple’s feet prior to the final meal, which is an ancient rite of the moment when Jesus washes the feet of his disciples just before their final meal together . This is ancient rite of humility and hospitality. In the picture, we observe Jesus gesturing Peter about the prominence and requisite of the act. To the extreme right, we observe another disciple waiting for his turn. The picture conveys decisive subject and expresses the act to be carried out by Jesus and the hesitation of Peter. It portrays the church as built according to the basilican plan. The taller building of the church and its figural sculpture are worth mentioning . On the whole, the narrating power of the picture characterizes the figural style of the Romanesque art and transforms the classical form of art into a trans-European style of art.
Stokstad, M., & Cothren, M. (2012). Art- A Brief History, Fifth Edition. Pearson EducationInc.