This painting is by one of the leading Netherlandish Mannerists of the late 16th century. Typical of the Mannerist obsession with virtuosity and complexity are the twisting poses, the high finish and the obsession with detail in the rendering of the muscles. Saint Sebastian was a Roman legionary martyred for his Christian beliefs. Since he was pierced with arrows, he became the patron saint of archers. It has been suggested that this painting may have been commissioned not for a church but for a company of militia, that is, part-time gentlemen soldiers.


  • Title: The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
  • Creator: Joachim Anthonisz Wtewael
  • Date Created: 1600
  • Physical Dimensions: w1250.95 x h1692.4 in (Unframed)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchase: Nelson Gallery Foundation, Purchase: Nelson Gallery Foundation
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Culture: Dutch

Additional Items

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian (Supplemental)

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