Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ

According to legend Saint Christopher was a giant, martyred in the 4th century. A hermit (presumably the figure at the left) told him to carry travellers across a river. He carried a small child who became heavier and heavier and then revealed himself as Christ, declaring that the saint had been carrying the 'weight of the world'. In this work the Christ Child is in the foreground and a group of travellers appear to be waiting at the right.

Painted on copper, this 17th-century work, which perhaps displays the influence of Elsheimer, is probably German rather than Flemish in origin.

Key facts

Artist
Full title
Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ
Date made
17th century
Medium and support
Oil on copper
Dimensions
9.8 x 13.6 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1854
Inventory number
NG2156
Location in Gallery