Follower of Dieric Bouts
St. Christopher and the Infant Christ

Circa 1480
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.1.115, Lehman Collection

The child is Christ, heavy on Christopher's shoulders because he himself carries the weight of the world. Bouts contrasts Christopher's struggle under this burden – his left arm posed against his hip, his eyes bulging – with the child who sits serenely on his shoulders and blesses the viewer with a light smile.

The man on the far right is the hermit who baptized St. Christopher and gave him the task of carrying wayfarers across a deep river. His hermitage is on the cliff behind him.

Read more about images of St. Christopher.

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