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Title: St. Christopher
Date: last quarter 15th century
Culture: French, Burgundian, or Flemish
Medium: limestone
Dimensions:
31 x 27 x 15 in. (78.7 x 68.6 x 38.1 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object Number: 3:1934
Place of origin: France, Burgundy, or Flanders
Place collected: Arras, France
Current Location: On View, Gallery 237
Notes:
Christopher’s bent right arm and his dropped left shoulder suggest the action of walking. According to legend, Christopher was a man of great strength who ferried people across a river. When he carried the young Jesus, he found the weight nearly impossible to bear, and was told by Christ that he carried the weight of the world. Christopher became, therefore, the patron saint of travel, and almost always holds a large pole (sometimes even a palm tree) that he used in fording the water. The knees of the Christ Child can be seen on the saint’s shoulders just behind his head. The sensitive wrinkles at the corner of his eyes and his downcast, thoughtful gaze suggest he contemplates the significance of his unexpected passenger.
Signed: unsigned
Provenance
- 1933
Georges P. Ryaux, Beauvais, France [1]

1933 - 1934
Brummer Gallery, Inc. (Joseph Brummer, d.1947), New York, NY, USA, purchased from Georges P. Ryaux [2]

1934 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Joseph Brummer Gallery [3]


Notes:
[1] The sculpture was found in a fragmented state near Arras, France [Brummer stockcard, viewed at Cloisters Library, described by Anabelle Kienle, could not be photocopied, notes in SLAM document files]. According to another stockcard for the "St. Christopher," the Joseph Brummer Gallery purchased the sculpture from Georges P. Ryaux [SLAM document files].

[2] See note [1]. An invoice from the Joseph Brummer Gallery records the date of sale to the Saint Louis Art Museum, and notes that the sculpture was buried in fragmented condition in a rubbish dump near the cathedral of Dijon, France [invoice dated January 8, 1934, SLAM document files]. Presumably, the earlier record (the stockcard naming the previous owner and the location of discovery as Arras), is correct.

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 4, 1934.
Exhibition History
Title: Treasures from Medieval France
Date: November 15, 1966 – January 29, 1967
Venue: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Title: People at the Art Museum
Date: July 7- September 9, 2001
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Publication History
Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Les stalles de Saint-Claude dans l'art Septentrional du XVe siècle: Pensée, image et communication en Europe médiévale
Author: Albert Châtelet
Title: Sculpture in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain: 1400-1500
Year Published: 1966
Title: Treasures from Medieval France
Author: William D. Wixom
Title: Medieval Art
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Judith Mann
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Two Late Gothic Sculptures
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Author: Meyric R. Rogers
Title: La sculpture flamboyante en Bourgogne et Franche-comte
Author: Jacques Baudoin
Title: Gothic Sculpture in America: II. The Museums of the Midwest
Author: Dorothy Gillerman
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
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