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Saint Sebastian
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Saint Sebastian

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description Saint Sebastian was a Roman commander who, according to legend, was executed under Emperor Diocletian (284-305) for being a Christian. First, soldiers attempted to kill him by shooting him with arrows, but he miraculously survived. He was then beaten to death. In Rimpacta's image, the soldiers depart in the background, thinking they have killed the saint. He is depicted in a beautiful landscape, perhaps to show us that, through his faith and sufferings, he has entered Paradise. Sebastian was among the saints who were believed to protect people from the plague. The painting is probably an "ex-voto," an image commissioned in gratitude for protection against the disease and dedicated to the saint by the wealthy kneeling woman in the foreground, who has placed herself and her children under his protection.
Date Description Narrative
11/29/1943Treatmentcoated; inpainted; loss compensation; surface cleaned; varnish removed or reduced
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902

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ca. 1505 (Renaissance)
oil and gold leaf on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
Painted surface H: 39 x W: 29 7/16 in. (99 x 74.7 cm); Panel H: 39 x W: 30 x D excluding cradle: 3/8 in. (99 x 76.2 x 1 cm)


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