Saint Sebastian

Antonello da Messina (c. 1430-1479) | Painter


Renaissance artists mostly studied the beauty and proportions of the human form by observing classical sculptures. Thus, the detailed rendering of the body of St Sebastian is reminiscent of antique marble statues. Another typical aspect is that the martyred saint appears to be alive. The saint was shot with arrows on account of his Christian faith. His heavenward gaze reflects his certainty of reward in the afterlife. This work was painted for the altar of the Confraternity of St Roch in Venice.

Material & Technique
Oil on panel, transferred to canvas
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
c. 1478
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 52