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St Christopher

  • Object:

    Statuette

  • Place of origin:

    Limburg (Netherlands) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1520 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Master of Elsloo (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved oak

  • Museum number:

    374-1890

  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case 9, shelf 1

St Christopher, one of the most celebrated saints of the late Middle Ages, is shown here wading through the river with the Christ Child on his back. He is supporting himself with a large staff or walking stick. This was how the saint was usually shown throughout the late Middle Ages. Here the carver had added details to the traditional image. He has included fishes in the river and the unusual feature of a small tonsured and hooded figure riding in the belt-bag may be a monastic traveller. St Christopher was also prayed to for protection from sudden death. Images of him were especially popular just inside the entrances to churches, where they were usually painted on a colossal scale on piers.

Physical description

Group, carved oak. St. Christopher leaning on his staff, and bearing the Infant Christ on his shoulder, is crossing a stream.

Place of Origin

Limburg (Netherlands) (made)

Date

ca. 1520 (made)

Artist/maker

Master of Elsloo (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved oak

Dimensions

Height: 56.5 cm, Width: 19 cm, Depth: 14 cm

Object history note

A.W.N. Pugin collection, sold 1853; collection of William Maskell; bought by the South Kensington Museum at the Maskell sale, 1890.

Descriptive line

Statuette, St Christopher and Christ Child.

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

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1890. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1891, p. 43
Maskell, Alfred. Wood Sculpture. London and New York: Methuen and Co. Ltd.; G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1911, pl. XXVII
Gorissen, Friedrich. 'Ein niederrheinischer Christophorus in London', Der Niederrhein: Zeitschrift für Heimatpflege und Wandern, XXXIV, 1967, p. 114
Hendriks, Willem Th. M. De Meester van Elsloo: oppergelders beeldsnijder XVIe eeuw. Exhibition Catalogue, Horst, 14 June - 7 July 1974. Horst: s.l., 1974, pp. 13-14.
Williamson, Paul. Netherlandish Sculpture 1450-1550, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002.
Didier, R and Krohm, H.Les sculptures médiévales allemandes dans les collections belges. Brussells. 1977. p. 206
Sint-Truiden. Laat-gotisches beeldsnijkunst uit Limburg en grensland. provinciaal Museum voor Religieuze Kunst, Begijnhof. 1990. pl.9. fig. 17
Sint-Tuiden. Laat-gotische beeldsnijkunst uit Limburg en grensland, Deel 2, Handelingen van het symposium. 1992. pp. 142, 145
Peters, Famke, ed. by, A Masterly Hand: Interdisciplinary Reserach on the Late-Medieval Sculptor(s) Master Elsloo in an International Perspective: Proceedings of the Conference Held at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels 20-21 October 2011, Brussels, Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, 2013, Scientia Arts 9, p. 138, fig. 6.29

Materials

Oak

Techniques

Carving

Subjects depicted

Christianity; Staff

Categories

Sculpture; Religion; Christianity; Children & Childhood

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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