In many images of Infant Jesus, (for example Infant Jesus of Prague,) he is shown as wearing a huge crown which looks larger-than-life in size. Is there any historical reason for the same? What does the Catholic Church tell about the reasons for and philosophy behind depicting Infant Jesus with a crown too big for his head?

  • 2
    If traditional Catholic/Orthodox art ”depicted the Infant Jesus with a crown too big for his head”, why is the crown on his head and not around his eyes or falling around his neck? This seems like a non-question, unless you can link a particular example to demonstrate your point of view.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 15:22
  • This question appears to be off topic since it asks for art interpretation
    – 007
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 19:16

1 Answer 1


The origin of this custom is Byzantine (Orthodox)

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Up to the advent of Protestantism, Christianity regarded God as the ultimate king. This is also the origin of the old Greek name for a church building: βασιλική (basilike, "royal"). In the construction of such a church, the throne & altar would be as far as possible from the door, against the wall (to protect the king from assassination attempts). This and the form & clothing of church ceremonies are taken from the prevailing customs of the Byzantine court. The same goes for the depictions of the Nazarene as a child.

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The best known example of royal children depicted with crowns in Byzantine art is princess Anna Komnene.

Even after the schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the depiction style remains prevalent in Western European art until the advent of Protestantism.

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