At first, this picture may seem to be a reflection in one of the medieval convex mirrors that had been shown aplenty in this blog. Very characteristic distortions and recognisable features of a medieval town on a background may be hinting to the yet another Flemish mirror (or ‘mirror’) in art.
The guess its ‘Flemishness’ would be correct, but to explain why it is not quite a mirror I had to write yet another endless posting, with 60+ pictures. You are warned.
A short preface. In some way this posting belongs to the same series of my ‘post-Facebook’ posts that I have started last year. As I wrote, I have discovered a community on FB fixated on the Flemish artworks, and re-posted there many of the Flemish ‘art_mirrors’ that I collected in this blog. At some point I also began to post the new art works there, ‘new’ in a sense that were not yet described, or mentioned here. As I result, I had to eventually write a series of ‘catch-ups’, the followups of my earlier postings, where I described these new art_works – for instance, the follow-up to the Annunciation ‘Mirrors’, or the ones of Susanna and of the Pilat’s Trial.
It just happened that I also started to share in this FB community the mirror works that I never wrote here (not only about the work, but about the entire theme). Time has come to re-broadcast these new themes here, too.
The detail that I have shown above is taken from this work:
This is a rather large panel, almost 50 x 70 cm, created around 1520s. Its author remains unknown, but it is attributed to the so called Master of the Mansi Magdalen who worked in Antwerp in the very end of the 15th – beginning of the 16the centuries. According to some source, he was a pupil of Quentin Matsys (Matsijs), the master behind the Mirror of Moneylender.
This is a very bright and luxuriant panel, with a lot of interesting details. Yet it is also a fairly puzzling work, at least for your ‘average public’, as it gathered a record number of ‘likes’ but also a large number of questions about its content.
In short, the ‘content’ of this panel is the depiction of Christ as the Salvator Mundi, or the Saviour of the World. Basically, the whole story will be about this very motif, and the use these ‘glass balls’ in it.
I will write extensively about these orbs, and show a few more works of this master in this context, but before I forgot, I would like to show one more detail of this panel that also depicts some refelction. This is a very decorative clasp, or a medallion, on the Christ’s chest:
Its central stone, or a bead, looks like a miniature convex mirror, with an appropriate cross-like reflection of light beams in its surface. I habitually gather such examples of the ‘jewellery mirrors’, but never managed to write any overview of these things. In the next life, perhaps.
But back to the orb. I wrote ‘also depicts a reflection’ when describing this bead, but description may be very applicable to the orb itself. I will show below this orb one more time, now in a large context of this panel:
It looks like mirror but it is not quite it.The closest analogue that comes to mind is those souvenir ‘snow globes‘ that show miniature scenes of various kinds inside them, often with an effect of ‘falling snow.’ Snow or not, this orb does not seem to reflect but rather presents, displays the world inside it, as if an old TV set.
This topic, of the mirrors reflecting vs mirrors displaying, is a big one, and it deserves a special posting or a few (and one will not be about this issue.) Most recently I’ve touched it when talking about the mirror crystals of the Narcissus Fountain from the Roman de la Rose, and before that I briefly wrote about mirror-visors in the Pilgrimage of the Soul, by Guillaume de Deguileville. But to explore this topic seriously, I would need to spend more time (and write more texts) about the different ideas about optics, and about human (visual) perceptions, and so I would park it for a moment.
Speaking specifically about these orbs, I actually also showed one of them already, when writing about (the absence of) mirrors of Leonardo da Vinci. Back then I found one work that has been attributed to Leonardo (though this attribution is widely contested), the panel of Christ the Salvator.
This is a stunning, crystal clear (sic!) example of such a ‘glass orb’. It beautifully represents the very glass nature of this globe, including the ‘air bubbles’ captured inside during the process of blowing it. Notice that there is no cross on the top of this orb.
However, back then I didn’t have any examples to further elaborate on the orb, and its meaning in this context. To start this story, I will have to tell a bit more about this orb/glove, and then about its use in Christianity (and only then return to the Flemish Primitivists, hopefully a bit better equipped).
On the Ball
The official name of this orb is Globus cruciger; it sounds solidly academic, as every other Latin word does, but literally means not much more than ‘ball with a cross’, or a cross-bearing orb. However, the meaning of this object is as far from pure academic concept as possible, as it was often associated with the highest powers.
There is numerous artifacts that this story can start from. I decided to show one of the most famous orbs of this kind, the Orb of the Holy Roman Empire, or the Imperial Orb (part of the large set of Imperial Regalia, or Imperial Insignia.) Here how it looks like (on the right picture it is also with the Imperial Sword, to provide a scale of its size):
In essence, it is indeed an orb, or a sphere, made out of gold (to my knowledge, hollow inside) and richly inlaid with various precious stones. Currently the orb is stored in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Interestingly, but in German this object is called Reichsapfel, literally Imperial Apple, and this metaphor also went into few other European languages.
This very orb lately became an epitome, a default formfactor for many similar symbols of royal power in Europe. In some sense, it became a mythologem: for example, Karl the Great (aka Carolus Magnus, Karl der Große, Charlemagne etc), the very founder of this Empire, was lately depicted with this orb:
The first picture is the portrait of the Karl the Great by Albrecht Dürer, made around 1510. The second is a much later drawing, made in France in the middle of the 18th century. In both cases Karl seemingly holds this very orb, despite the fact that the orb was made in the end of 12th century, or four hundred years after his death.
Very likely that this orb was made for the Holy Roman Emperor known as Frederick Barbarossa who reigned from 1155 till 1190.
The left picture is his portrait with the sons Heinrich and Friedrich, from Historia Welforum, the famous manuscript produced at the end of the 12th century; the right one, his depiction as a crusader knight, from Historia Hierosolymitana (the first edition of which appeared in 1188).
In both cases we see that Frederick Barbarossa holds an orb somewhat resembling the one from the the Hofburg Palace. According to the historical records, this orb was first used during the coronation of theFrederick’s son Heinrich, who became the emperor Henry IV in 1190. It is likely that the orb was commissioned byFrederick (for himself?) but used only by his son – and by many Holy Roman emperors ever since.
However, the earliest depictions of the Imperial Orb is much older. In of the manuscripts of the 11th century we find a scene of the consecration to the throne of Henry III (a grand-grand-grandfather of Frederick Barbarossa). The consecration has happened in the so called Stavelot monastery), on June 5, 1040.
Yet we could find even deeper: the right picture shows another emperor, Otto III (who was in turn grand-grandfather of Henry III), depicted with some sort of orb in his hand. I have a certain suspicion that this image may be made much later, though. Otto III ruled from 996 till 1002, and I don’t recall any manuscripts of these times with such rich illuminations.
Never mind. We can safely assume even Karl the Great, the very first Holy Roman Emperor, has already had an orb of some kind – perhaps, not as lavishly decorated as the one we’ve see, but imperial enough.
– – –
Why can we assume so? Because the use of such ‘orbs’ as symbol of power started not from the Holy Roman Empire. It is older even than the Roman Empires – we find similar symbols already used in Ancient Greece.
There is a famous sculpture of Zeus as the World Ruler, holding in his right hand a (world?) sphere with Nika, the Goddess of Victory, on its top.
We also find similar orbs in the depictions of many Roman emperors:
The left picture is of Octavianus Augustus, the founder of another empire (the Roman one). The second one is a nice ivory relief depicting Flavius Honorius Augustus, one of the last Roman emperors. His Nika on the orb is nothing but a bitter irony: it was during his reign Rome was sucked for the first time (in 410.)
The last picture is an interesting one. It is a 5m tall status now known as the Colossus of Barletta, named after the Italian town Barletta where it now stands. It is assumed that originally it was a statue of one of the Roman emperors (although we don’t know of whom, as the date of its creation ranges from the 4th to the 7th century). It was rediscovered, broken in pieces, around 1230s. Not surprisingly, the sculpture s already Christianized, the emperor holds a cross in his right hand (although the orb doesn’t have the cross, yet).
We also find numerous examples of these orbs used by the rulers of (Christian) Byzantium:
The left coins were issued during the times of Constantin IV (668 till 685), and the right one is from the times of Constantin VI ‘Blind’ (780 till 797). But the orbs were on coins long before the Roman Empire became Christian: here is the so called antoninianus, introduced by Caracalla in the beginning of the 3rd century.
We see here the emperor in the crown with sun beams, likely a reference to the Sol Invictus, who also holds an orb.
The latest examples also shows that if we want to dig really deep, we could as well immerse into history of Ancient Egypt, with their cults of the Sun.
The left figurine is a very recent article. It is a kitsch figurine, and yet it captures all the symbols that we can as well find in the ‘real’ works of the old Egyptian masters (such as the fresco from the Temple of Nut in Abu Simbel. Nut, or Nwt was the goddess of sky, traditionally depicted with the sun disc in her hand (I wrote extensively about all these interconnected symbols, of the Sun, ankh/mirrors and of the power, for that matter – see Mirrors’R’Suns, or Egyptian Reflections.
Or Persian/Mesopothamian history, with their god Marduk, who was depicted holding the Sun (disc, orb), and a scepter (staff, or a hoe/shovel.)
Here I would stop. I can obviously dig even deeper (Egyptian cults are never too bad to start with, but there are always Indian cult/religions if one want to make the process endless). I guess, though, that the examples above collectively made their point.
From this point on, I will focus on the symbol of Globus Cruciger in its Christian interpretation. As happens typically in these cases, this symbol kept evolving picking up various themes and overtones (and being piked up and used/abused by various actors).
Interestingly, but the very first orbs used in the Christian imagery were of not of the God but of its angles (or archangels). Below are two pictures of Archangel Mikhail holding the Globus Cruciger: the left is from an icon circa 8th century, and the middle one is from an ivory panel made in Byzantium around the 10th century.
The right one is what we are after, the icon of Christ as Salvator Mundi (or Christ Pantocrator, the God Almighty, who both creates and saves the world). The issue is that we don’t see any orbs in this case!
This is a very crucial moment. Indeed, Christ does not need any symbol of power, he is the Power. And if anything his power is his word, his speech (or at least his book). He doesn’t need any ‘orb’, he came to save the word by the power of his discource, as we would say today,
This is indeed a very powerful metaphor (and it’s clear where it came to Christ). It would be so great if Christianity would follow the path; alas, the movement evolved along quite a different trajectory. The intended ἐκκλησία was replaced by κυριακή, and intangible yet omnipotent divine word substituted by tangible, very tangible, but too earthly a symbol (this very orb).
The first popes didn’t even hold it, they placed on their heads: The left picture is of Pope Innocent III (1198-1212) who put a kind of orb on top of its tiara. The right one is of Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605), whose tiara (itself consistining of the three clowns) is also topped by a tiny Globus cruciger.
mirror glass orbs
Whether it’s correct or not from the ‘True Christianity’ point of view, but at some point the image of Christ became associated with this Globus cruciger. It is very tempting to see as a regression, a descend from the initial ‘true knowledge’ into an abyss of corrupted misinterpretations (I am afraid though that it would be too simplistic a take).
Nevertheless, the earlier examples of this scene that I have portray Christ without any orb. Take for example the Salvator Mundi by Giovanni Bellini), around 1465:
Nor we see any orb of power in the panel by another Italian master, Antonello da Messina, also made around 1465:
However, as we go further we start spotting the insignia, initially looking more like golden spheres. This is the version by Carlo Crivelli. Made circa 1470, it was a part of a larger altarpiece that was eventually split into pieces; this one, for instance, is currently in Mexico (!)
Here is another interesting example, by Gherardo Starnina, around the 1400s (this example refutes the simplistic theory of the ‘losses of true meaning’ happening over time). Here Christ holds not just an orb, but nearly a globe, or at least a map of the world drawn according to Ptolemeus. Later we will see the examples when this orb would be literally made in form of the Earth Globe: he saves the world, let him hold the world.
But this case calls for a more complex swirl of ideas. The issue is that by 1400 people didn’t know about the sphericity of Earth (or at least it wasn’t a part of the officially approved worldview). The Earth was thought to be a round, flat disc. But I bet that the world as a whole, the total universe could well be conceived as a sphere, and so this orb would be the model of the whole world, not just planet Earth as we know it now.
This substitution is still remarkable, and it would be worth exploring where and how it happened, exactly. As I tried to present it earlier, the symbolism of orb had to come from the Sun, yet at some point it began to mean the Earth.
There are also interesting cases when we see the orb but without a cross. Here is an example of bronze relief made around 1500 by the so called Master of the Barbarigo Reliefs from Venice:
And here is the work that finally brings us closer to – if not mirrors than at least glass orb. The panel is created by Andrea Previtali, a pupil of Bellini, around 1519:
Here we see Christ holding the thing that looks exactly like a glass sphere, with a very accurate representation of the glass’ semi-transparency and reflective surface, with the spots of light on it (or even light beams coming through it, in this case).
We see a somewhat similar glass orb in the hands of the Titian’s Salvator Mundi (1570):
Titian is already one of the most prolific masters of ‘art-mirrors’, and I am now also discovering these glass spheres on top of his collections, great!
The last Italian work that I’d like to show is the painting by some anonymous Florentine (?) master who created this work circa 1560:
This is a beautiful painting, with an incredibly finessed embroidery on Christ’s gown, but what makes it particularly interesting is its orb, this time representing not only the Earth but an entire solar system (as they understood if, of course, with the Sun rotating around Earth.
Notice also the efforts spent to depict a transparent yet also reflective quality of this glass (especially at the bottom, where we see four duplicated fingers.
And now, after all these preparations, to the Flemish Primitivists, where it all started. There will be a lot of (glass) orbs here, but similar to the Italians, I will start with an orb-less Christ. There are two very interesting works that depict Christ as Salvator Mundi, both by Hans Memling, one made circa 1474, and another one later in 1481. In the Western European tradition such works are usually called Christ Giving His Blessing, but in fact this is truy the Salvators Mundi as it is supposed to be.
The next example is already with an orb. This is a central panel of the famous Braque Triptych, by Rogier van der Weyden, created around 1452. Here we see a fairly standard orb, or Globus cruciger, only made out of metal (gold?) yet. Its polished surface shows the reflection of a window (?).
I didn’t have a chance to search in any of the large online archives of medieval manuscripts, so I found only one example of Christ holding an orb, from the Flemish manuscripts made around the 1460s and illuminated by Willem Vrelant. I bet there are many more of them. An interesting feature here is that Christ is walking outdoor, in a garden of some sort. Another interesting detail is that the orb is already made of glass, though not very transparent.
Before I will show a collection of these beautiful (glass) orbs, I would like to remind a couple of things related to the history of glass (and mirror) making. They may look obvious for some people, and almost self-evident for those who reads this blog, but may sound new for the rest.
As we know [here should be a link to a good source], around the 15-16 centuries Flanders became one of the leading European centers of glass (and mirror) making. At some point the glassmakers from this area learned how to make very clear and transparent glass, and the glassblowers, in turn, how to blow large glass spheres out if it. (I don’t want to say here that Flemish masters were the first or the only Europeans who learned the craft, of course not. Very likely, the masters from Venice who the first who mastered this technique (and we’ve seen the examples of the Italian ‘glass orbs’). And the Germans (or rather the Bavarians, from Nuremberg, remained to be the best (and I will have to search for more ‘glass orbs’ depicted by the German masters). These glass objects were
These glass objects were beautiful, and expensive, and similar to the first glass convex mirrors were appropriated by the church for its purposes. They fit ideally into the concept of Globus cruciger, and at the same time, were adding some interesting qualities to this concept that I will try to show below.
Christ as Salvator Mundi in the painting by Gerard David (c.1485) holds a very simple glass ball, with some minimal reflections on its surface:
But we can clearly see that this is a glass ball, not a metal one, because we see the reflected window frame on its rear surface. The artist made special efforts to show the transparency of this glass sphere, and how the light beams go through it.
Few years later a pupil or a follower of the same Gerard David depicted Christ with a similar glass orb, but it already has an inner world inside it. I bet a better copy would help us to see more of its features.
There is also a very interesting clasp of Christ’s gown, with a large gem or a bead in it. Again, I guess that a better copy could help us to see the painter’s self-portrait in it:
The next Salvator Mundi is from the workshop of Joos van Cleve (c.1530)
Again we see a certain world inside this orb; interestingly, but its level of the horizon is not tilted (despite the orb itself is):
Yet another panel from the same workshop of Joos van Cleve, Christ as Salvator Mundi c.1540. Yet another complex inner world inside the orb, but also a large and complex cross on top of it:
The next panel is attributed to the late Joos van Cleve himself: Christ as Salvator Mundi (c. 1540)
Here we see not only a very complex world, with a landmass and a seam but even with ‘weather’ of some sort:
I don’t know if this dark top of the orb was an artistic intention or just the result of late restoration. Perhaps the ideas was to depict the night, as we see the moon crescent.
In the next Christ as Salvator Mundi (c.1530), also with a large cross, by an anonymous master from Bruges, we clearly see the night scene:
But this world has a town and the ships (and I sense we could see people, at least on the closest one):
I found more panels with similar depictions of Christ the Salvator, but the quality of the copies is not so good: the first one is attributed to Michiel Coxie the Elder, the second, to the workshop of Hans Memling, and the last one to an anonymous master from Antwerp.
The next Christ as Salvator Mundi that was made in the workshop of Joos van Cleve circa the 1530s.
Its orb is perhaps the most ‘glassy’ of them all, a large sphere made of transparen glass, and with the light beams reflected by both front and rear side of this orb.
The next panel is attributed to Quinten Metsys (or Messys) from Leuven – Christ as Salvator Mundi (c.1500)
Again, its inner world is depicted during the “inner night”
The next panel is one of the most decorative in this collection. It also assumingly belongs to the workshop of Quinten Metsys, and was made around the 1500s.
I am not sure if there is any ‘inner world’ in this orb. The ghostly silhouette of town could as well be a reflection of a real town, seen through a window. What we see reflected are only external objects – the clouds, or the hands of Christ (a very rare cse, by the way, to see Christ reflected in a mirror. More specifically, it is his slavating blessing which is reflected, that in a certain context could be interpreted as blasphemy.
I put these panels by Quinten Metsys at the end of my list partly because they are indeed made later, but also because the Master of the Mansi Magdalen, whose work started this posting, is considered to be a pupil of Metsys.
In addition to his marvelous work that I have shown, I found a couple of other work on the same subject. The one below is quite remarkable. It is called Christ the Salvator Mundi in Landscape (c.1520). There are only very few works with this motif, of Christ walking ourdoor with his orb.
Notice that even in this case the reflection in this orb still shows an interior of a room, with a window (and maybe also the artist’ easel:
I have a copy of another work attributed to this master(с. 1525), but of not so good quality, so I can’t say much about its reflection.
I am sure there are many more works of Flemish masters, and I will keep looking for them, but by now I have to start wrapping up this posting. A few more ‘follow-ups’ of a kind.
Strictly speaking, Fernando Gallego was a Spanish master, but similar to Juan de Flandes (I wrote about his ‘mirrors’ few times) came to Spain from Flanders. This is a giant panel by him called The Blessing Christ (1492)
Its orb is very stylized, almost abstract (especailly for the time of creation):
The next work was made later, almost a century later, in fact (c.1590). It is attributed to Antoon Claeissens, master from Bruges. Similar to the master from Florence I was writing about a bit earlier, its orb also has a depiction of a solar system:
Interestingly, but the depiction of the Solar system still follows the Ptolemean, geocentric model, despite the fact that Copernicus has made his discoveries nearly 50 years earlier (his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was published in 1543, and he got his results even earlier).
I don’t know the authors of the next two panels: the first is considered not Flemish, but Italian, and the second – German, and both are dated by the middle of the 16th century. Both have their orbs made in form of a globe, reflecting the age of great geographic discoveries.
With time the image of Christ holding the Earth globe became widespread, and during the Baroque Period, from the middle of the 17the century on, nearly a default version. At the same time we see gradual disappearance of the ‘glass orbs’ that became very exceptional.
I found only rather strange depictions, such as the version of the Child Chirst with the (Huge) Orb, attributed to Anthony van Dyck (the left picture). The right picture is a copy of the painting by the Dutch artist Cornelis Schut the Elder, made around 1640 г.
It is always difficult for me to ‘conclude’ such ‘conceptual’ postings. Its initial focus point was fairly compact, to understand a bit better the meaning of one interesting orb on one Flemish panel of the 15th century. As often happens, it took a large excursion to the human history to unpack the whole meaning of these power balls, and then returned back to the re-interpretation of this power in Christianity.
As we’ve seen, the very material and design of these orbs added a number of interesting new features to this old symbol (for examples, that they began to contain these ‘worlds’ that we, as spectators, could see (in a funny way placing us in the same world-observing position the God is supposed to have). I sense that there are more overtones that these glass orb added to the inititial, for examples, their ‘cleanness’ and ‘clarity’ (or may be a certain degree of ‘obscurity’, with a reference the ‘glass, darkly’.)
I didn’t find yet any of these orbs connected in any way with the Eye of Providence (which would seem to be only logical). And this leads to the usual ending of such posting: more (re)search is to be done.
PS: Here I was actually planning to finish this posting (but not the theme of the glass orbs itself, I have at least one important sequel to add). But then I decided to add an important dimension, related to both the concept of the Globus cruciger in Christianity and to its depiction in religious art.
This is quite a complex issue, and I may easily blurp one or a few very foolish things, so treat the text below as the very first stub only. I will have to do much more research to say something solid.
The issue is that all the panels and paintings that I’ve shown earlier depict Christ, the Son of the God (Father). It is him who saves the world, according to these versions.
However, there are also versions that describe the events somewhat differently: it is God the Father who rules the world (the one he also created in the first place). It is him who sends his Son to save it this world, but he still holds firmly the symbol of its power over it, the same orb.
For any person who is not very familiar with these theological nuances (that is, the majority of people) the differences between the two versions are barely comprehensible and hardly matter. For a devoted believer one could represent the Absolute Truth, and the other, the Terrible Heresy (and which is which may vary for different people.)
We know about very heated debates between the adherent of these different versions (and we likely don’t know the full picture, because the winners of the game ended to exterminate the losers, together with their arguments (i.e., the artworks). By the sheer number of these orbs in the hands of Christ we can assume that the first version took over (at least in the Flemish art of that time).
There are, however, a certain number of (remaining?) works showing the alternative reading (depicting) of the matter. I can start with one spectacular work that illustrates this conflict of interpretations, although rather ambiguously.
The Ghent Altarpiece by the brothers van Eyck (Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, c.1430s) still fuels the debates on who is depicted sitting on the throne, the God Father or the God Son? As the name of the altarpiece suggests, the Son is supposed to be represented by the lamb (depicted on the lower panel), and so we see here the God Father. This is wrong, argue the opponents, it is Christ too, only represented here in different form. It is him who both rules the world (the scepter in the left hand) and saves it (the blessing by the right).
I have a few more examples that are more straightforward. I found the panel below in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon, Portugal:
It is described as made by anonymous Flemish master around the 1550s, and depicts Mary with the Child and his grandparents, St.Anna and St. Joachim (and a female donor). When in the museum, I was mainly interested in the Mary’s mirror hanging on a wall (Speculum sine macula).
Only back later I also spotted the God-Father in the heaven, holding in his hand a very prominent Globus cruciger. It may not looking like a glass one, but at least it has reflections on its surface.
There is another example, the Trinity by the Antwerp master Artus Wolffort created circa 1620 (there are also numerous version of this work created by his pupils).
Here we see both God the Father and his Son Christ, but it is the former who holds the orb.
The same distribution of power symbols happens on the panel by German master Bartholomäus Bruyn (he worked in Cologne, but stylistically was close to the Flemish schools.) The panel depicts Coronation of the Virgin (с.1540):
Here we see an already familar glass orb, held by the Father God:
Here is the same scene, Marienkrönung, depicted by another master, Hans von Kulmbach (c. 1520)
We may spot a certain ambiguity in the above panel, the orb is in the hands of the Father, yet the tiara (another symbol of power, with a mini-orb on its top) is worn by his Son.
The next panel about Mary’s Coronation, by Michael Sittow shows how this orb is gradually changing hands:
The panel is dated by 1496. I would also add that Sittow is a master with a peculiar orgin: he was born in Ravel (now known as Tallinn, the capital of Estonia), but studied in Bruges, in the workshop of Hans Memling. His main works firmly belong to the Flemish schools, and by the end of his life he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he apparently worked with Juan de Flandes.
I don’t know why I find most of these works with God the Father holding these orb painted by somewhat marginal artist (and I didn’t find see any of them made by more mainstream Flemish masters, yet.) It’s easy to start believing in a conspiracy theory of a kind, that these works, even if they existed, had been destroyed or altered at some point, and that only such ‘marginal’ works survived.
The last second addition. When writing this, I found another interesting work, by Italian Paolo Veronese. The painting is called Christ arresting the Plague with Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian (c.1560s).
Which means that Christ saves the world already in a more pragmatic way, protecting it from the disease.
He also holds a GIANT orb, as if made out of plastic, not glass: