Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ

According to legend Saint Christopher was a huge man who carried travellers across a ford. He carried a child who became so heavy that the saint could hardly bear his weight; the child then decleared that he was Jesus Christ and that the saint had been carrying the whole world. A hermit is depicted in the landscape at the right. On the reverse of the panel is the lay-in of another landscape with some figures drawn in brush.

The figures of Saint Christopher and the Child may be by a different hand from the landscape and perhaps by a follower of Massys.

Key facts

Artist dates
active second quarter of the 16th century
Full title
Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ
Date made
possibly about 1540
Medium and support
Oil on oak
24.5 × 53.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Queen Victoria at the Prince Consort's wish, 1863
Inventory number
Location in Gallery