Saint Sebastian, Andrea Mantenya

Saint Sebastian, Andrea Mantenya
Saint Sebastian, Andrea Mantenya - 1

  • Posted by Andrea Mantenya
  • Museum: Louvre
  • Year: Around 1480

Overview of the painting :

Saint Sebastian – Andrea Mantenya. Around 1480. Canvas, tempera. 257×142

   Saint Sebastian is a popular image in the visual arts, which many artists have addressed, painting a cruel episode of his martyrdom – suffering from arrows fired at him. St. Sebastian secretly professed Christianity in the III-IV centuries. Upon learning of this, Emperor Diocletian sentenced him to death. However, the wounds inflicted on the saint did not become fatal. His wife secretly went out, and he, not wanting to flee Rome, appeared before Diocletian miraculously saved. The emperor again commanded the execution of the saint.

   In the painting “Holy Sebastian” by Andrea Manteni, a painter and engraver of the Early Renaissance, the saint is tied to the wreckage of an ancient column, the lower part of his body is dotted with arrows. The column as part of the destroyed ancient temple symbolizes the world of paganism slowly leaving for nothingness, for which the emperor held so tightly and the victim of which fell St. Sebastian. Near the feet of the unfortunate young man, a marble fragment of a broken statue that once stood in this place and glorified the Greco-Roman gods was preserved.