Ideas: The symbolic archetype of St. Sebastian has been depicted by countless artists throughout history, often tied to a tree or a pillar of some kind and pierced with arrow. This a punishment decreed by the Roman emperor Diocletian during his persecution of Christians in the third century. This sentence did not kill Sebastian and he was nursed back to health by Irene of Rome. Upon his recovery, it is said that he healed a girl living at the house of blindness by making the sign of the cross on her forehead, an element you will find in the piece itself. Also you will find very natural elements, trees landscapes to show his connection to the world around him. On his cloth you will see the Roman numerals, ___________. This is the date the Church sold his remains to ________. The selling of saints and martyrs “remains” was one way the church accumulating money to further their intent of power. St. Sebastian was a captain of the Praetorian Guard in Milan under Diocletian, who was unaware at the time that Sebastian was a Christian who succeeded in converting many of his comrades. This makes him a saint venerated by soldiers and as well as those of rebellious nature for being an outspoken activist against the empire of Rome. It was upon one of these public vilifications of the emperor that he was taken and beaten to death, his body thrown into a privy. On the right side of the composition you will see a severed head on it’s side symbolizing the final and inevitable result of imperial oppression.
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