This is one of the most important examples of Venetian

4/18/2021, 12:35:31 PM
This is one of the most important examples of Venetian painting from the 16th century, signed and dated Sebastianus Venetus faciebat Rome 1520 on the parapet in the foreground, where the henchmen’s knife has been placed. In a letter dated 29 December 1519, and addressed to Michelangelo Buonarroti, Sebastiano talks about a newly finished painting for Cardinal Rangone. The painting’s particular shape (rectangular but developed across its width), suggests that it was for private worship, meaning that the cardinal did not intend to display it on the altar of his church but rather, to keep it for himself. The painting shows the martyrdom of Agatha, a Sicilian virgin, who was born and lived in Catania in the 3rd century A.D. According to tradition, the proconsul of Catania, Quintianus, who desired Agatha, accused her of blaspheming the state religion and ordered her capture. In order to bend her to his will, he subjected her to an increasing amount of torture. The suffering that has most remained in popular memory, and the most widespread of the images, is when Agatha’s breasts were cut off with enormous pincers. The painter has included a building in the background that’s in danger of falling into the flames, a reference to the earthquake that occurred during the saint’s martyrdom. Martyrdom of St Agatha, 1520 by Sebastiano del Piombo, oil on wood. #arteesamor #historyofart #arthistory #arte #ancientart #martyr #saintagatha #martyrdom #16thcentury #ancienthistory #masterpiece #horror #cruelty #torture #piombo #oilpaint #artgallery #artlovers #venetianart #venetianpainting #suffering #artwork #agatha #classicalart

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