Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.



  • Place of origin:

    Castile (Valladolid, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1650-1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    polychromed and gilt limewood or poplar

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Christ child sleeping on a skull suggests Christ's triumph over death, as well as foreshadowing the Passion; such images were objects of pious meditation in Spain during the 17th century. Many still survive in convents and monasteries.

Physical description

Statuette of a child with a skull. The figure lies naked, resting his head on both hands, the right crossed over the left, and with his left leg bent back under his right. The head is disproportionately large for the body, which is comparatively slender. The hair is tightly curled, and the mouth half-open, with the teeth visible. Although the child is shown asleep, the facial expression is half-smiling. The skull on which he rests is much larger than his own head.

Place of Origin

Castile (Valladolid, made)


ca. 1650-1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

polychromed and gilt limewood or poplar


Height: 16 cm, Width: 11.5 cm, Length: 34 cm

Descriptive line

Statuette, Child with a skull (The Christ Child); Wood painted Spanish Castile Valladolid? 1650-1700

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Trusted, Marjorie. Spanish Sculpture : Catalogue of the Post-Medieval Spanish Sculpture in Wood, Terracotta, Alabaster, Marble, Stone, Lead and Jet in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996. pp. 62-63. cat. no. 23.


Limewood; Poplar

Subjects depicted

Child; Skull




Sculpture Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.