Antonio Vivarini
St. Christopher

1449 Poreč Basilica, Croatia

The artist has opted for a simpler and less narrative approach to the iconography of St. Christopher. There is no river, the child does not carry an orb, and instead of the usual staff Christopher carries a palm branch signifying martyrdom. The saint looks only at the child, who looks directly at the viewers and blesses them. The effect is a strong focus on the blessing people believed that God granted to those who looked on the image and secondarily on the response to that blessing expected of a Christian: the sacrifice of self denoted by the palm branch.

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Photographed at the basilica by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.