Sandro Botticelli – a famous Italian Renaissance painter, who devoted his work mainly to the creation of spiritual and religious paintings. The painting “Saint Sebastian”, supposedly created in 1473, is one of the best works of art created by the artist’s brush. It was first seen in 1474, the canvas was exhibited in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Florence.
Saint Sebastian, according to legend, lived at the time of the highest dawn of persecution of Christians, he was the commander of the emperor’s Praetorian army and secretly confessed a new forbidden faith. After discovering his penchant for Christianity, Sebastian was tied to a pole and shot from his bow by his own warriors.
Despite the fact that he was from a rich family, no one stood up for him, and only one compassionate woman showed mercy and, picking up a wounded Sebastian, left him as a relative. After the Christian’s recovery, this woman tried to persuade him to leave the city, but Sebastian decided that he would defend his faith, even if it would have to pay with his life.
Speaking before the imperial palace in defense of his new faith, Sebastian was so angry with the emperor that he ordered his secondary execution. The innocent martyr was executed and later became one of the most revered saints – patrons, whom all sufferers prayed for. For some time, plague patients considered Saint Sebastian their personal intercessor. Also the patronage of the saint was asked by archers and hunters.
Botticelli portrayed the saint in a certain thoughtfulness standing at the pillar, his arms crossed behind his back, there is a feeling that the martyr was not at all prepared for death, but was thinking about some important and demanding immediate solution. Several arrows are stuck into his body, but it seems that the young man does not notice them at all. Behind him, a completely peaceful landscape opens, which the saint will soon lose, but this does not bother him at all.
The picture soon became the pride of all of Florence, glorifying the name of the artist.