Who is this about? – Wissenschaft.de

Saints are often depicted in art in moments of their martyrdom. The painting by Ludovico Carracci (1555–1619), on the other hand, stages a later chapter in the legend of this martyr: the handling of the corpse. Soldiers throw him into Rome’s largest sewer, the Cloaca maxima. Who is this about?

Image: AKG / Erich Lessing

Saint Sebastian is often shown tied up and pierced by arrows (above: painting by Andrea Mantegna, around 1480). He lived in the 3rd or 4th century. According to his vita, he was a Roman soldier who was baptized and died during the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian in Rome. A young Christian is said to have recovered his body and buried it in the Sebastian catacombs. In the Middle Ages he became the patron saint against the plague.


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