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  • Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher

    Artist:
    Mandijn, Jan. 1500-1560
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    71x98,5 cm

Mandijn, Jan. 1500-1560

Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher

Netherlands, Early 16th century

The subject is taken from the 13th-century Golden Legend (Legenda Aurea) of Jacobus de Voragine, which tells the lives of the saints. A man of Canaan, of huge stature, was converted to Christianity and decided to devote himself to charitable works, helping the sick and poor to cross a river. By the light of a lantern one night Christopher carried across a child who became so heavy that the giant could barely walk. "Indeed you have been carrying the whole world on your shoulders," said the child, "for I am Jesus Christ". Christophoros is Greek for "Christ-bearer", and Christopher is still the patron saint of travellers (it was thought that whoever looked on the image of St Christopher could come to no harm that day). In around 250, during the reign of the Emperor Decius, Christopher was tortured and beheaded, hence the head of the saint stuck through with a knife which hangs on the dry branch of the tree. In iconography and style this composition derives from the traditions of Hieronymus Bosch, the famous Netherlandish painter. The realistically painted landscape is filled with fabulous monsters, who inhabit the earth, swim in the water and fly in the sky, symbolizing the Seven Deadly Sins with which the devil tempts man throughout his life.

Title:

Landscape with the Legend of St Christopher

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

71x98,5 cm

Place of finding:

.

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1929; transferred from the Gostorg (the State Import and Export Office)

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4780

Category:

Collection:

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