The Christ Child1849
The sleeping child lies on a sheet of white cloth partially covered by a pink cloth. He is identified by the aureole of light and three stylized rays forming a halo and by the ribbon he holds which is inscribed: [AGN] US DEI ECCE QUI T[OLLIS PECCATA MUNDI: MISERERE NOBIS] (Roman Missal, Communion: 3). He is surrounded by meticulously rendered flora and fauna, laden with Christian symbolism. The rose bushes allude to martyrdom, strawberry plants to perfect righteousness, violets to humility, several stalks of wheat to the human nature of Christ, some daisies to his innocence, the butterfly to the Resurrection, the goldfinch to the Passion, the pair of turtle doves to purity, and the swallow to the Incarnation. This painting replicates a section of an unlocated picture the Virgin and Saint John accompanied by three angels adoring the Christ Child, which was reproduced as a steel engraving by Wm. Ridgway in a Bible published by James S. Virtue, London, n.d.
- H: 4 9/16 x W: 6 1/8 in. (11.6 x 15.5 cm)
- oil on panel
- Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
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