Collection

D176661
D176667
D176691

Christ child with grapes

Artist
Michel Erhart
Locality
Ulm
Date
c. 1470
Material/Technique
Willow wood, polychromed
Dimensions
H. 40.4 cm
Location
Gallery 17
Inventory Number
91/43
Categories
Sculpture
Epoch
Gothic

Description

This figure is not the only nude representation of the Christ child; it is however undoubtedly the most beautiful. No other carving captures the infant Jesus' movement so strikingly vivid and with such eloquent expression. The still original paint with the delicate pink on the cheeks, knees, elbows and buttocks underlines this natural effect. Merely a few subtle details indicate that no earthly child is being referred to here. His hair was once gilded, and the grapes in his hands signify the blood that he was later to shed on the cross. This and comparable figures of the infant Jesus played a central role in the Christmas traditions of women's convents; they were cared for and decorated by the nuns.

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