Manuscript Leaf with Saint Christopher Bearing Christ, Tempera and gold on parchment, German or Swiss

Manuscript Leaf with Saint Christopher Bearing Christ

early 14th century
German or Swiss
Tempera and gold on parchment
Overall: 5 7/16 x 3 11/16 in. (13.8 x 9.3 cm)
Overall (illumination): 5 1/16 x 3 1/4 in. (12.9 x 8.3 cm)
verso: 28 ruled line in light brown ink (no text): 4 5/8 x 3 5/16 in. (11.8 x 8.4 cm)
Manuscripts and Illuminations
Credit Line:
Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald R. Atkins, Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, Wolfgang Wilhelm and Michel David-Weill Gifts, and funds from various donors, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
This manuscript leaf was probably the frontispiece for a Book of Psalms. It depicts Saint Christopher carrying the Christ Child across the stream. According to legend, when Christ ordered the saint to plant his staff into the ground, it was transformed into a vigorously growing vine bearing leaves and fruit, suggesting his divinity. The refined monumentality of the figure of Saint Christopher recalls a figural style also used in stained-glass compositions and panel painting, and is similar to that of the shrine of the Virgin (17.190.185) exhibited in this gallery.
Eric Korner collection, London (probably from 1950s); Sotheby's, London(July 7, 2009, no. 106); [ Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat, Moosboden, Switzerland (sold 2010)]