About this artwork

The huge figure of St Christopher looms out of the dark background, as he stoops under the weight of the diminutive Christ Child. According to legend, it was only when Christopher reached the other side of the river, having carried a child across, who had seemed to get heavier and heavier, that Christ revealed his true identity. He explained to the saint that he had been carrying 'the weight of the world' on his shoulders. The nocturnal setting emphasises Christ's divine light and adds to the drama. Borgianni painted several versions of this composition.

  • title:
    Saint Christopher Carrying the Infant Christ
  • accession number:
    NG 48
  • artist:
    Orazio Borgianni ( about 1578 - 1616)
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    About 1615
  • measurements:
    104.00 x 78.00 cm (framed: 125.60 x 99.80 x 9.60 cm)
  • credit line:
    Presented to the Royal Scottish Academy by Sir John Watson Gordon 1850; transferred to the National Gallery of Scotland 1910
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

Orazio Borgianni

Orazio Borgianni

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