Peter Paul Rubens’ The Raising of the Cross, 1609-10.

Is Christ naked or nude? Considering the narrative, he is philosophically on the level of the angels, half human and half Son of God. Christ must be represented nude. How? His skin is milky white without wrinkles, moles, warts, or discolorations. He has no body hair (no hormonal activity). And specially, even though not mentioned in the New Testament, he must have pumped a lot of iron as he is excessively muscular. The executioners are also steroid driven and exceptionally large in scale yet their individuality belies a diversity among humans. Some of the executioners are old, others young, some have facial hair, others are bald, some dressed in work clothes or military costume, others have taken off their shirts in order to put all they’ve got into the raising of the cross. Additionally, the executioners are sun burned and of various complexions, in contrast to Christ, who is pure white and high value.

While everyone in the painting is excessively muscular, there is a different degree of detailed realism in Christ as opposed to the executioners, suggesting that Rubens’ may have had models for the latter. Another interesting detail? Look in the bottom left of the painting. That is the painter’s dog. He loved his dog so much (and may have thought his dog very spiritual(?)) that he included it as a witness to the crucifixion. The dog is naked.