Saint Christopher

Object Details


Saint Christopher


Domenico Campagnola (Italian, 1500 - 1564)




about 1520 - 1525


Pen and brown ink


33.3 × 23 cm (13 1/8 × 9 1/16 in.)

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Domenico Campagnola captured Saint Christopher staggering through the water, dropping the front of his robe as he tries to balance the evident weight of the tiny baby on his back. According to legend, St. Christopher was a giant who devoted himself to carrying the poor and weak across a river. One day, a small child seemed to grow heavier and heavier as Christopher waded through the current. The child finally revealed himself as Christ and told the saint that he had been carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Deftly handling the point of the quill, Campagnola indicated both the lighting and volume of the saint's muscular body simply by varying the length and curve of the same strokes of parallel hatching. Swirling lines indicate the wavy curls of the saint's hair and beard, his sturdy calves, and the loose drapery about his waist.

16th and 17th Century Italian Drawings (December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993
16-17th Century European Drawings (December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 28, 1993 to March 13, 1994
From Pordenone to Palma Il Giovane (October 14 to December 10, 2000)
  • San Francesco's Church, Pordenone, October 14 to December 10, 2000
Hatched! Creating Form with Line (March 11 to June 1, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 11 to June 1, 2014