The Infant Jesus

Menino Jesus

Belgium, Malines, early 16th century

Painted wood

28,5 x 16,5 x 11 cm


This polychrome piece represents the Infant Jesus with arms outstretched in an attitude of praise.

The right arm is in a gesture of blessing and the left hand held a crystal cross with a relic of the Holy Cross. It is typical of the Flemish school of Malines, in which the delicate modelling and the rosiness of the face stand out.

Its existence in the Church of São Roque dates back to 1594, where it was kept together with the relics of the altar of the holy martyrs. It was offered by Ana de Lencastre (ca. 1540-1625), 17th commendatory of the Royal Monastery of Santos and one of the most important figures for the understanding of the cult of relics in post-Tridentine Portugal.