Title: St. Christopher, and studies for the Assumption of St. Catherine and the Baptism of St. Catherine
Double-sided drawing; brown ink and wash on paper
Dimensions: Image: 13 7/8 x 8 5/8 inches (35.3 x 21.9 cm)
Acquired through the Herbert F. Johnson, Class of 1922, Endowment
Object Number: 81.070.001
According to legend, Christopher offered service by carrying people across a swiftly flowing stream. One day, he was carrying a child who seemed to increase in weight until Christopher felt he was carrying the weight of the world. The child identified himself as Jesus.
Here, Palma depicts Christopher’s effort through a bending of the saint’s back and a twist of his torso that combine the grace of the Venetian style with lessons learned from Michelangelo’s powerful Sistine Chapel frescoes during his time in Rome. Related surviving drawings indicate that St. Christopher’s pose was derived from study of a nude male model. (“Undressed: The Nude in Context, 1500-1750,” text by Andrew C. Weislogel and presented at the Johnson Museum February 9-June 16, 2019)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.