Images of the Divine Child

When the infant appears with a mature masculine figure a shift in emphasis occurs. When the bearded Silenius with leaves and vines in his hair is looking affectionately at the infant Dionysus in his arms and offers him to the nymphs for their adoration, he is displaying a new power in the world (Figure 35). St. Christopher holding the Christ child on his right shoulder crossing a river, protects a new hope for the world (Figure 36). And when Pan is abandoned by his mother and nurse, he is taken by his father, Hermes, to Olympus, wrapped in a hare's skin (Figure 37). The child represents life in its potentiality and since no one lives out the totality of possibilities, the image of the child at a later stage of development brings a sense of the freshness of new and unknown beginnings.

[aras-image:3Ka.039,b,7,,,Figure 35 Silenus with the infant Dionysus.]
[aras-image:5Ek.028,,7,,,Figure 36 St. Christopher holding Christ Child.]
[aras-image:3Ja.060,b,7,,,Figure 37 Hermes Delivers the Baby Dionysus to Papposilenus and Nymphs.]