Pinacoteca di Brera Informazioni

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian

Vincenzo Foppa

It was detached in 1808 from the first altar on the left in Santa Maria di Brera, where it was flanked by a Saint Roch, probably by the same artist, which was removed in 1787 and has been lost.

The work, datable to the second half of the 1480s, shows signs of Foppa’s interest in Bramante’s grasp of perspective and archeological taste, as is evident from the monumental architecture, constructed with a perspective that is more scenographic than rigorous and decorated with a classical capital and medallion, the saint’s pose, resembling an ancient statue, and, finally, the intense features of the executioners, where the echo of the Men-at-Arms in Casa Visconti-Panigarola is strong.
The complex structure of the perspective can be appreciated thanks to the incisions visible on the plaster, where the artist’s change of mind in the right arm of the main figure can also be seen.

Download hi-res image TITLE The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
AUTHOR Vincenzo Foppa
DATE 1485-1490
OBJECT TYPE AND MATERIAL Fresco Transferred To Canvas
DIMENSIONS cm 265 × 170
INVENTORY Reg. Cron. 68
ROOM XV
Work on display
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