Categories: European Works of Art |

An alabaster group of Saint Sebastian, South Italian, probably Sicilian, late 17th Century.

The figure of the early Christian martyr is shown tied to a tree, his body pierced with arrows, as commonly depicted in art and literature.

The figure rests on an elaborate scrolling base, height 68.5cm.

Saint Sebastian was put to death during the last major persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire in about 303 A.D.

When arrows failed to kill him, he was eventually clubbed to death.

In mediaeval times, he was thought to be able to offer protection from the plague; devotion to him increasing markedly during the years when plague was active.


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