Christoph Daniel Schenck

Constance 1633–1691, attributed to
Joseph with Christ Child
Limewood, height 15 cm


The World in Chaos

Birth in Constance

In 1633, in the middle of the Hundred Years’ War, Christoph Daniel Schenck first sees the light of the world in Constance. That same year Swedish troops unsuccessfully beleaguer the city. Constance is spared – luckily for the future artist.


‘L’Etat c’est moi’

Louis XIV becomes King of France

While the Hundred Years’ War is raging in Christoph Daniel Schenck’s homeland, Louis XIV ascends to the throne of France at the age of four. Under him, France expands its position as a great power. The Sun King furthers the arts and sciences. The culture at the French Court radiates beyond its borders and becomes the model for all royal courts during the Baroque period.


Parents and Child

Is love self-evident?

In his seminal work Centuries of Childhood that was first published in English in 1962, the French sociologist Philippe Ariès argues that a loving interaction between parents and children is not something than is inborn in any way but the result of a ‘culture of emotion’ that first evolved in the 16th and 17th centuries. Ariès also draws on images in the visual arts and highlights changes. Time-wise, the so touching depiction of Joseph and the Christ Child fits perfectly and testifies impressively to Ariès’ thesis.