St. Sebastian in agony, condemned to martyrdom by arrows


Danube School ( 1500 - 1550 )

About 1520
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General Description

Sebastian was a Roman army officer under the 3rd-century emperor Diocletian, who viciously persecuted Christians. When it was discovered that Sebastian was a Christian, he was condemned to be killed by a corps of archers. Sebastian miraculously survived and became the patron saint of archers' guilds. Such an organization probably commissioned the Dallas Museum of Art sculpture, since the figure wears a chain around his neck that signifies guild membership. The sculptor emphasizes the agony of the martyrdom in Sebastian's grimace and tensed muscles, and traces of late Gothic elegance are still evident in the curving disposition of the body.

Excerpt from

Dorothy Kosinski, DMA label copy, 2003.

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