This is a touching image of the Christ Child painted by Emile Munier (1840-1895).
During the 1860s, Munier received three medals at the Beaux-Arts, and in 1869 he exhibited at the Paris Salon. He was a student and avid follower of William Bouguereau. Munier was very close with Bouguereau and the two artists formed a special bond. Bouguereau used to call him "La sagesse (the Wise)" or "Le sage Munier (The Wise Munier)."
Images of children abound in Munier’s oeuvre and it is not surprising that he would choose to depict the Infant Christ. In this sensitive rendition of the Christ Child blessing, Munier demonstrates his ability to capture the essence of childhood. The Christ Child looks serenely out of the picture plane with his hands in the iconic gesture of blessing and forgiveness, his delicate blond curls creating a natural halo within the golden one that adorns his head. The palette is restrained and the background is dark and simple. The prominent use of white and gold emphasizes the Child’s divinity, while the beautiful rendering of Jesus’ face underscores his humanity.