Inventory number
P01095
Author
Ribera, José de
Title
Saint Sebastian
Chronology
1636
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
127 cm x 100 cm
School
Spanish
Theme
Religion
On display
Yes
Provenance
Royal Collection (New Royal Palace, Madrid, “tercera pieza de la Furriera”, 1747, n. 189; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de paso al dormitorio de la serenísima infanta-pieza de retrete”, 1794, n. 189; Royal Palace, Madrid, “cuarto del infante don Francisco-segunda pieza”, 1814-1818, s. n.)

This is a representation of Saint Sebastian's first martyrdom. For his defense of Christianity, this Roman soldier was condemned to be executed by arrows shot by two archers. Saint Irene freed him while he was still alive and cured his wounds. He was a very popular saint because one of his attributions was the power to cure the black plague.

Ribera depicts the moment when the saint puts himself in God's hands, thus accentuating the drama of the scene and exalting the Counterreformation message of devotion to the holy martyrs as examples of Christian life.

 
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