In a quiet bylane of Old Goa is The Museum of Christian Art. Perhaps the only one of its kind in Asia, the Museum showcases Indo-Portuguese art from the 16th to the 20th century.The Museum’s collection includes furniture, sculptures, ivory and metal artefacts, textiles, paintings and books from the 16th to the 20th century. On a visit to Goa last month, an afternoon spent at the Museum turned out to be the highlight of my entire trip.
The Museum’s collection is extremely well curated and presented. While it is difficult to choose a favourite among the ones I saw at the Museum, I had no hesitation in choosing one for today’s post on Christmas Eve.
“The Holy Family”, a 20th century set of ivory figurines mounted on wood, was donated to the Museum by the Albuquerques from Anjuna in Goa.
The Holy Family. Ivory and Wood. 2oth Century
While the 3 figures in the centre are very clearly Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus, I’m not sure who the two figures on the extreme right and left are. Maybe St. Anne and St. Joachim, Mary’s parents? I loved the delicate details of the figurines: the expression on both the women’s faces and drape of the robes, the look of wonder on Jesus’ face.
As always, whenever I see such exquisite works of art, I wonder who the artist was and what went through his/her mind while creating “The Holy Family”?
Dear reader, did you like these figurines as much as I did?
Wish you a very Happy Christmas :-)
The Museum Treasure Series is all about artifacts found in museums with an interesting history and story attached to them. You can read more from this series here.