Figures Tending to the Wounded Saint Sebastian

Andrea Lilioabout 1596

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Irene, a widow from Rome, tends to the wounds of Saint Sebastian, who miraculously survived an attack by Roman archers. On learning that Sebastian, a Roman army officer, had secretly adopted Christianity, his fellow soldiers shot him full of arrows and mistakenly left him for dead. After Irene nursed him back to health, this early martyr confronted the emperor with a renewed avowal of his faith.

Andrea Lilio almost certainly executed this drawing as a study for an altarpiece. In contrast to other images of Sebastian, which usually show the saint bound to a tree or pillar and surrounded by archers, this intimate depiction focuses on the saint's spiritual exaltation.


  • Title: Figures Tending to the Wounded Saint Sebastian
  • Creator: Andrea Lilio
  • Date Created: about 1596
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.8 × 25.1 cm (10 9/16 × 9 7/8 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk with traces of white chalk, squared for transfer in black chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 99.GB.50
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Andrea Lilio (Italian, about 1555 - after 1627)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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