Symbolically, dogwood tree art is generally seen as an image of spring and the joy that comes from something new and unexpected. This is largely because of the dogwoods' plain appearance until spring, when it bursts into bright and beautiful blooms. In Christian symbolism paintings, however, this tree is the symbol of the willingness to sacrifice for others. This religious interpretation is due to the widely held belief that Jesus was nailed to a cross made out of dogwood. Although there are few outright religious dogwood tree paintings, many inspirational works that feature this tree are made with this interpretation in mind.