Christ Blessing

Andrea Solario Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 609

This is one of Solario’s last works and must have been painted for a church in or near Milan. The painting takes the interconnectedness of heaven and earth as its theme. The original frame likely echoed the painted architecture in the picture to create the illusion that the figure of Christ stands in a space that is one with our own, erasing the boundary between divine and earthly realms. Solario reinforced this idea in his positioning of Christ’s hands, which gesture upward to heaven and downward to earth. The figure also stands atop a circle, a traditional symbol of God’s perfection, inscribed within a square, a symbol of earth with its four seasons, cardinal directions, and elements.

Christ Blessing, Andrea Solario (Italian, Milan ca. 1465–1524 Milan), Oil on wood

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