Christ is not like a snail: Signs and symbols

This episode looks at the visual language of signs and symbols known as iconography. Chloë Reddaway considers the surprising appearance of a snail in Crivelli’s The Virgin and Child with Saints Francis and Sebastian (1491) and asks how it might help in the seemingly impossible task of painting Christ.

‘The audacity of Christian art: The problem of painting Christ’ is a seven-part series in which Dr Chloë Reddaway, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Curator in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, explores the theological and artistic challenges involved in painting Christ as fully human and fully divine, and reveals some of the ingenious and surprising ways in which Renaissance artists responded.

From The National Gallery.

Cite this page as: The National Gallery, London, "Christ is not like a snail: Signs and symbols," in Smarthistory, June 30, 2018, accessed June 19, 2024,