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Christ stands upright with the support of his mother, the Virgin Mary. He holds a transparent crystal orb and is clutching his semi-transparent drapery, which hangs over one shoulder like a Roman toga. He is intended to look like a miniature Roman emperor, a pose which conveys his spiritual authority even though he’s still an infant.
Since the painting would have been viewed up close, every detail is painted with delicacy and precision. We can see every petal of the roses strung on the hanging garland that frames the Virgin’s head, and the leaves of the tiny trees in the hazy landscape background are tinted with gold as they catch the early morning light.
Tempera on wood
H 48.3 x W 36.8 cm
Salting Bequest, 1910