Portrait of a Man as Saint Sebastian

Portrait of a Man as Saint Sebastian

about 1600
Artist
Netherlandish Artist
painting
Oil paint on panel
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust
2021.33

Netherlandish artist, Portrait of a Man as Saint Sebastian, about 1600. Oil paint on wood panel. Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2021.33

Dimensions
window height: 35.313 in, 89.6950 cm; window width: 28.438 in, 72.2325 cm; frame height: 50 3/8 in, 127.9525 cm; frame width: 44 in, 111.76 cm; frame depth: 6 in, 15.2400 cm
Department
European and American Art Before 1900
Collection
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

Although England prohibited religious paintings after the founding of the Church of England in the 1530s, a person’s faith might still be expressed secretly, which is possibly the idea behind this picture. The sitter chose to be represented as the ancient Roman-era martyr Sebastian, who was executed for his Christian faith. Sebastian is traditionally depicted shot through with arrows, but here he is shown without wounds, his innocence conveyed by the openness of his sympathetic gaze.

Known Provenance
Boughton Monchelsea Place, Kent (U.K.); Christie’s, South Kensington, January 21, 1998, lot 672; from which acquired by William M. B. and Bernadette Berger; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2021. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.