Description Inexpensive, painted wooden statuettes of the Virgin or popular saints were made in large numbers to stimulate private devotion. Sebastian was a Christian martyr of the 3rd century. According to legend, he was a Roman officer who refused to deny his Christian faith. In consequence, he was tied to a tree and shot full of arrows. When these wounds were not fatal, he was clubbed to death. Christians prayed to him for protection from wounds and illness, especially the plague. The crudeness of the carving would not affect the role of the statuette as an aide to devotion. The stiffness and emaciation of the figure suggest that the carver was either German or influenced by German models.
Provenance Joachim Ferroni, Rome; Ferroni Sale, Galleria Sangiorgi, Rome, 1909, no. 46; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1909, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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