In that case, you also might want to check out Stephen D. Moore's chapter, "On the Face and Physique of the Historical Jesus," in God's Beauty Parlor: And Other Queer Spaces in and Around the Bible (Standford, 2002). Eric
Before this class I had never consciously paid attention to the portrayed ethnicity of Jesus. I guess that I had just accepted Jesus as a typical Caucasian man. It is interesting to me that the four gospels make no mention of Jesus' appearance. I am curious as to why they never mention what Jesus looked like. Is it because the authors did not know? Or did they purposely not include that information? I wonder if they wanted to focus more on Jesus as a figure rather than his physical appearance. Since there is no description of what Jesus looked like, there can be no "wrong" portrayal.
By not including Jesus ethnicity in the Gospel writings it leaves lots of room for imagination. That is why there are so many different types of portraits today. It is also important for some individuals or societies to connect a face with the teachings of this man, Jesus. I find that in most history class slide shows, when discussing the great achievements of lets say George Washington, there is almost always a portrait of him shown on one of the slides. I can't explain why people like to put a face to a name, but it seems important to us.