The adoration of the divine child

In religious documents, which have been handed down over the centuries, we can not find concrete references to the adoration of Baby Jesus, which in religion and art has taken place independently of the adoration of Mother Mary. We only find it mentioned in some of the written thoughts of various Church Fathers dating back to the Middle Ages, a time when religion needed to manifest itself with a strong visibility such as the adoration of relics and pilgrimages. 

Thus the pictures are very graphical and quite sensational. This is the time to which we can date back the first original representation of Baby Jesus. Its adoration was first propagated by Franciscan monks. After the first representation of the nativity scene in a crib in Greccio in 1224, which has been initiated by Francis of Assisi, the brotherhood of this convent in Bethlehem has been distributing small Baby Jesus sculptures. 

In the museum Baby Jesus can be admired in very different forms: naked or beautifully dressed as a small king, displayed in splendid glass cases or in small boxes which were used to transport the divine child during processions or to exhibit the sculptures. They were also used to keep the figures in the private praying rooms of rich families. In Hiky Mayr’s collection the life of Jesus Christ is depicted in a most extensive representation of "Memento mori” with all its passions and melancholy but also with the most beautiful moments of its childhood. 

This unique and impressive collection, the only one in the whole world accessible to the public enriches experts as well as any other visitor to the museum due to its huge variety of exhibits displayed under the most diverse aspects.