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St Sebastian
17th Century
St Sebastian
[San Sebastiano]
Oil on wood
130 x 90 cm  [HxW]
Giorgiana Corsini, Firenze

Dolci was known in Florence for his works of careful but extravagant piety, usually set in a twilight sky. His style parallelled the contemporary High Baroque classicism in Rome. His work was often commissioned by men of the church with provincial, conservative tastes. St Sebastian was shot with arrows for defending two of his Christian companions in the Roman army. He is shown as a smooth adolescent in an ecstasy of faith, holding the arrows but without injuries. St Sebastian became a protector from pestilence for people who believed the plague was caused by Apollo’s arrows.

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