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Saint Sebastian

Dosso Dossi (Giovanni di Nicolò Luteri)

The saint’s radiant nudity, his green cloak swathed around him like a garland, is bound to a citrus tree, symbolising a love of God so strong it was to lead to martyrdom. Dosso began in the mid-1520s to draw close to the style of Raphael, and his experimental pittura di tocco, a style based on small dotting motions and spirited brushstrokes, adds a softness to the picture, matched by a briskness in the treatment of the green and brown foliage and in the gleam of the weapons lying on the ground.


Labels by famous authors

A tiny burst of light through distant thunderclouds signals the end to Saint Sebastian’s agony, but his back is turned to the omen. He knows only his present torture, as his pierced chest oozes a trickle of blood, and the desperate, unshakeable certainty of his faith. The lush landscape and the dead tree suddenly bursting with fruit remind us that the Latin word for salvation, salus, is simply the word for health.
Ingrid Rowland

Download hi-res image TITLE Saint Sebastian
AUTHOR Dosso Dossi (Giovanni di Nicolò Luteri)
DATE 1526 - 7
DIMENSIONS cm 182 x 95
Work on display
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