This is presumably the “Sebastian” that Rubens offered to sell to an Englishman in 1618 as the “finest flower of his work”. At that time he also re-worked the somewhat older picture. The largerthan- life figure of the martyr is reminiscent of classical ancient art, and the work of Mantegna and Titian.


  • Title: St. Sebastian
  • Creator: Peter Paul Rubens
  • Date Created: around 1618
  • Physical Dimensions: w128.0 x h200.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Style: Flemish
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Matthias Weniger Audio: © Tonwelt / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish Baroque painter in the 17th century who mainly created religious works and portraits. He received a humanist education and studied under the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen. He finished his apprenticeship in 1598 and started his career as an independent master. He lived in Italy for nine years (1600-1609), where he was influenced by Titian, whose impact is reflected in such works as 'The Fall of Man' (1628-29). After his return to Antwerp he lived and worked there until 1622, when he was called to Paris to create works for the Luxembourg Palace. He subsequently travelled to Spain and England where his diplomatic services were highly appreciated. Gout-ridden he died in Antwerp. He is classified as a representative of a style that emphasized movement, colour and sensuality. Rubens is known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes and history paintings that are characterized by mythology and allegory. One of his best known images is 'The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant in the Honeysuckle Bower' (1609-10).
  • Artist Place of Death: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Artist Place of Birth: Siegen, Germany
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist Dates: 1577-06-18/1640-05-30

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