The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Good Shepherd
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Sri Lanka or Goa
  • c. 1600
  • Statuette
  • Rock crystal, gold, rubies, emeralds and sapphires
  • Height: 12.8 cm
    Width: 5 cm
  • S50
  • Exhibition Gallery 1
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This figure shows Christ as the Good Shepherd, symbolising his care for and guidance of his flock. It belongs to a small group of rock crystal figures of the Christ Child produced in Goa and Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka). This Christian theme was introduced there by missionaries who accompanied Portuguese traders, and appealed to local people, who were accustomed to similarly seated images of the Buddha. Similar statues in ivory are known.

    Rock crystal is one of the hardest materials on earth and is extremely difficult to carve. Works of art in this material were desirable collectors' items in Renaissance Kunstkammern, princely treasury collections which Wallace aspired to evoke.