ERHART, Gregor
(b. 1460/79, Ulm, d. 1540, Augsburg)

Christ Child with the Terrestrial Globe

c. 1500
Polychromed limewood, height 56,5 cm
Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg

This nude Christ Child is so skillfully executed that it appears to have been brought to life. It is life-size and its plasticity is amazingly convincing and lively, certainly for anyone familiar those stiff, baby rRedeemers, in fashion in the period. The polychromy is remarkably well preserved. The traces of gilding on the locks of hair are virtually the only indication that this naked little boy came from Heaven. It is as if he is walking in the open air. He gives the blessing in passing. The little boy was undoubtedly clothed originally.

The statuette came from a Cistercian convent at Heggbach in Swabia. The nuns ordered their Christ Child from the best sculptor in the region, Gregor Erhart of Augsburg. It dates from after Erhart's move to Augsburg in 1494.