Hindustan Times (Noida)

The Infant Christ as the Good Shepherd


Christ, depicted as a young shepherd, sleeps under the watchful gaze of God and the Holy Spirit. A step beneath are Joseph and Mary; Mary Magdalene reclines at the base, reading. The style is unique to 17thcentur­y Goan ivory work, which the Portuguese commission­ed as diplomatic gifts. It’s a good example of how craftsmen fused indigenous iconograph­y (note the local foliage) with Christian themes despite Church control.

On view at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which has a vast collection of objects from the subcontine­nt, collected largely during colonial rule. This item was acquired from an American collector in 1949.

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