Sir William Russell Flint (1880-1969), Wellingtonian (Watercolor)
Saint Sebastian, Jusepe de Ribera (MuMa - Musée d’art moderne André Malraux)
In this monumental painting, Ribera portrays the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Officer of the Praetorian Guard under Diocletian (3rd century), Sebastian, a secret Christian, revealed his faith when two fellow Christians were condemned to death. He was immediately sentenced to be shot with arrows and left to die, but was nursed back to health by Irene. Once again, he confronted the emperor, who had him clubbed to death and thrown in the great Roman sewer, the Cloaca Maxima.
As in other martyr scenes, the chosen iconography depicts a moment of direct communication with the Divine. The religious outpouring finds expression in the parted lips and the eyes wet with tears gazing heavenward. This large-scale Saint Sebastian is an ambitious painting that plays on the unique effect of a diagonal. While the slightly twisted body principally serves to highlight the anatomy of the torso, it also recalls the crucifixion of Christ. The right hand turned to the sky, like the saint’s gaze, is a symbol of intercession.
A short interesting discussion by Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker about Diego Velázquez’s Vulcan’s Forge (c.1630)
Naked man and skull (1890-1905), Edelfelt Albert
Portrait of Henry Vassall-Fox, 3rd Baron Holland (1795), François Xavier Pascal Fabre
The Barricade (1918), George Bellows
Reclining Male Nude (1887), Maurycy Trębacz
Conceptio artis (1894), Axél Waldemar Gallén