Saint Sebastian

Saint Sebastian Pulse para ampliar Saint Sebastian

Anonymous, follower of Jaume de Huguet

  • CE00042
  • 1451-1500
  • Tempera and oil on board

This painting from the second half of the 15th century can be related to the so-called Eastern School, in which elements of the final Gothic, Flemish influences, and Italian influences of the firts Renaissance mix. This is a Medieval representation of Saint Sebastian, with the Saint holding the weapons of his martyrdom, the bow and arrows; but at the same time he is represented as a model Medieval knight. In this regard, the luxury elements in the painting, like the rich clothes, almost seem to represent, and relate the Saint to, a knight about to go hunting. This type of representations of knightly saints, common until this moment, specially in the Kingdom of Aragon, was prohibited in the end, promoting instead more religious compositions. For that reason, from the 16th century onwards, Saint Sebastian is more commonly represented as a young, naked, youth, bound to a tree and run through with arrows.

The scene surrounding the figure highlights his importance, but it also shows a cronological improvement in the Gothic painting style, as it shows an interest in trying to represent the third dimension. The tiled floor, with motifs common in Valencian pottery centers, is a frequent resource in Easter School, and Aragonese, paintings. The use of golden reliefs in halos and decorations is common in this school. The cypress trees at the back also appear in works by Jaume de Huget, like Saint George and the princess, in the Museo de Barcelona, and the doors of the same altarpiece, which used to be in the Bode Museum of Berlín.

There are numerous elements in the painting pointing to the circle of Jaume de Huget, like the Saints's clothes, very similar to the ones in the altarpiece of Saint Antony the Abbot, destroyed in 1909. Also, the technique can be related to Jaume de Huguet's workshop, using small brushstrokes of tempera painting, and oil glazes. Nonetheless, the face does not have the delicate modelling and brilliant colors of this artist.