Saint Sebastian is an emblem of beauty and fearless

4/20/2021, 4:51:30 PM
Saint Sebastian is an emblem of beauty and fearless bravery, opposing to the ferocity of persecution: a Roman soldier converted to Christianism, he miraculously survived the arrows of martyrdom thanks to Irene’s care, and was invoked since the 7th century as a protector against the plague. Giovanni Colacicchi painted it in 1943 when, evacuated with his family to Vallombrosa, between Florence and Arezzo, he was a guest of art historian Bernard Berenson. Dealing with the canon of ideal beauty that characterized the iconography of St Sebastian since the Renaissance, the painter chose not to depict the characteristic element of the arrows: nothing violates the beauty of this handsome, languid and suffering body, image of human perfection, both aesthetic and moral. Colacicchi would also subsequently feel the need to strip the painting bare of its religious value. In fact, he would name it 'Man tied up', thinking back, as Flavia Arlotta (artist's wife) would write, “about what was happening around us while he was painting it, and about the partisans”. Dark times indeed, also obscured in the thick Vallombrosian pine wood of the background (so different from his usual tributes to the “Sun God”) but contrasted by the artist’s perceptions of the spirit and of beauty as intangible. San Sebastiano, 1943 by Giovanni Colacicchi. 🏛️: Uffizi Gallery #arteesamor #historyofart #saint #martyr #arthistory #arte #painting #artlovers #artgallery #historic #1900 #malebeauty #uffizigallery #masterpiece #artgallery #artlovers rs #20thcenturyart

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