The saint bears the Christ Child on his shoulder, straining under His weight.

At the left, a hermit holding a lighted candle gazes up at the heroic figure of Saint Christopher. The striking illumination of the figures recalls Caravaggio's dramatic lighting effects. From the prospective and proportions of the saint, it was clearly intended to hang high on a church. Jordaens, the great Flemish history painter of Rubens' generation, had never visited Italy but he was indirectly exposed to the work of Caravaggio and his school through certain early works by Rubens, who had spent eight years in Italy. This was an inspired acquisition by the Ulster Museum in Belfast which was building an extension to its museum in which it wished to display the painting at the time.


J Goudstikker.

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