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.