Heart Images from the Renaissance

Heart Images from the Renaissance

Heart images come from around a thousand years ago. Particularly during the Renaissance, the shape gained popularity in mosaics and frescos. Let’s explore some heart images from the Renaissance.


Bible References

During the Renaissance, most heart images were related to the Bible. It is linked to Jesus, and the most spread representation of this is called the Sacred Heart. But it was not the only one. There are other heart images related to the Bible. For example, the one dated in 1239. It is a mosaic built in Istanbul, called the Hagia Sophia. On it, Jesus holds a Bible and a heart. The picture is called Zoe, which is an Empress from the Byzantine times.


Archeological Remains

There are various archeological remains with heart images. For example, in Ctesiphon (Persian capital), ancient ruins have shown reliefs made out of stucco. The wall panels pictures that have been cataloged as hearts. It is not certain they represent heart images as we would interpret them today. They have been dated from the year 90 BC to the year 637 AD, and there is little know about them.


The Luther Rose

Martin Luther designed a symbol called the Luther Rose. It has heart images at the center. According to Luther King, the black cross that is pictured in the center of the heart images of this representation is a reminder of faith and the crucifix of Jesus. He uses the symbol as a reminder of faith and the salvation message of Jesus Christ.

As he explains the symbol, he refers to Romans 10:10: “For one who believes from the heart will be justified.” The symbol is recognized as the representation of Lutheranism. The other symbolic details on the heart images are meant to express the faith and theological beliefs of Lutherans.

Eventually, the Luther Rose became a seal, which he carried in the form of a signet ring.


Japanese Adoption

People of Japan adopted heart images as a symbol during the Nanban Trade that took place between 1543 and 1614. It represents the heart of Marishiten. The Japanese representation has the rounded elements and indented forms that characterize the heart images as we know today. The symbol was used in a Samurai helmet from the Edo period. The intention was to protect warriors with it, as Marishiten guarded them since she is recognized as the goddess of the archers.