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St Sebastian

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Germany (southern, made)

  • Date:

    1680-1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 111, The Gilbert Bayes Gallery, case DR1

The dense grain of a hardwood allows subtle carving and a high polish. In a relief the image stands out against a background that has been cut away. The depths and angles at which the wood is carved determine the play of light and shadow in the relief. In Italy St Sebastian was bound to a column, but in northern Europe he was shown with a tree symbolising the Tree of Life. In many depictions he was pierced with arrows to evoke his first, miraculous escape from execution, but here the arrows are not shown.

Physical description

Relief, limewood, St Sebastian. The Saint is shown dead lying loosely against the trunk of a tree his body supported from his left arm which is tied to a projecting branch. The legs bent at the knee rest on the ground to the left.

Place of Origin

Germany (southern, made)


1680-1720 (made)



Materials and Techniques



Height: 31 cm, Width: 23 cm

Object history note

Given by Mr Louis Cutbill.

Descriptive line

St Sebastian, hornbeam relief, Southern Germany, ca. 1680-1720




Sculpture; Christianity; Religion


Sculpture Collection

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