Here’s What Jesus Really Looked Like, According to AI

Through the aid of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), a Dutch artist, Bas Uterwijk, has embarked on a captivating journey. He breathed life into the historical enigma by skillfully reconstructing Jesus’ appearance based on various artistic interpretations. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of A.I.-assisted artistry. We will explore how Bas Uterwijk’s remarkable renderings have provided a historically accurate lens to peer into the face of the revered historical figure. Join us as we embark on an awe-inspiring exploration of the past, present, and future of art and technology. We introduce to you A.I.’s depiction of what Jesus looked like.

What Jesus Looked Like

For centuries, the depiction of Jesus Christ has been a subject of profound fascination, intrigue, and controversy. From Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary interpretations, artists across time have attempted to capture the essence of the iconic figure. However, amidst the countless renditions, an elusive question of what Jesus looked like remains unanswered. In a groundbreaking collaboration between artistic imagination and cutting-edge A.I. technology, a visionary artist named Bas Uterwijk has ventured to unravel this mystery.

Throughout history, many artists have tried their best to depict what Jesus looked like—much of the time, Jesus would look culturally similar to those who created the depiction. A prime example is the predominantly European portrayal of a fair-skinned, blue-eyed Jesus. This interpretation has arisen from the artistic traditions of Europe. But, it significantly deviates from the historical context of Jesus’ birth in the Middle East. Theologists and researchers have mostly agreed in the modern day that Jesus would look more like the native race that he was born into.

A Historically Accurate Depiction

It is widely accepted that Jesus was born and raised in the eastern Mediterranean region. This culturally and ethnically diverse area encompassed modern-day Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and surrounding territories. This understanding has prompted scholars to emphasize the likelihood that Jesus, like many individuals from that time and place, possessed Middle Eastern features. This meant he would have had a darker complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair. Thanks to Dutch artist Bas Uterwijk, we might have the most accurate depiction, to date, of what Jesus looked like when he was alive.


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A post shared by Bas Uterwijk (@ganbrood)

Bas Uterwijk graciously explained how he managed to achieve such a depiction. He explained how he has a background in working with “computer-generated images. “I have a background in Computer Generated Images and Special Effects,” he said. “The artificial intelligence software utilizes a neural network trained on photographs and paintings of thousands of human faces. This application makes it possible to combine multiple sources of faces and merge them in a synthesized version, guided by the artistic decisions of the user. I use it to create historical and fictional characters.”

A Mix of Artists’ Depictions of What Jesus Looked Like

Bas Uterwijk’s depiction of what Jesus looked like included many different artists’ renditions. This included one of the most famous painters of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci. This, paired with the cultural and geographical information, created something very believable. “I used several cultural depictions of Jesus of Nazareth of Byzantine and Renaissance origin including Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi”, and the Turin Shroud, tweaking the ethnicity to a more convincing Middle-Eastern face,” said Bas Uterwijk.

It is up to the religious folk to choose what they want to believe. For many, this might seem blasphemous. The idea that artificial intelligence can create an image of Christ seems absurd. But, for many others, this provided a holy and accurate example of what Jesus looked like. This gives the phrase “putting a face to the name” a whole new meaning.

More Depictions

Bas Uterwijk’s work is not limited to what Jesus looked like. He has a collection of artwork which you can view from his website or Instagram. He seems to be fascinated with creating accurate visual aids of various iconic historical figures. Here is a list of his depictions

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