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Plaquette - St. Sebastian

St. Sebastian

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Italy (North, made)

  • Date:

    late 15th century - early 16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Moderno (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This medal in bronze represents Saint Sebastian, with an architectural background.

It is made by Moderno, in the late 15th century.

Moderno is the pseudonym of a goldsmith and medallist active in North Italy and later in Rome. He signed certain pieces of his work with OPUS MODERNI (opus is the Latin term for 'work' - which then means 'work of the modern'). The modern here is referring to the Ancient World, in contrary to the Naturalism of the Gothic. He was active in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. His earliest works may date around 1485-1490, and his earliest dated work is 1490.
There are many different suggestions in literature to whom OPUS MODERNI may refer, and there has never been a clear answer to it.

Physical description

Plaquette in bronze. Saint Sebastian stands pierced by three arrows, naked except for a loin cloth, with his hands bound behind his back to a Corinthian column. To the left is part of a building, with a bas-relief of figures on foot and on horseback near top; in front of it stands an altar (the face decorated with a man on a pacing horse) on which is a statue of Venus partly draped and leaning on a shield. To the right is part of the same building, ruinous at the top; in front of it another altar (the face decorated with an eagle) on which is a statue of Mars in armour leaning on a shield. Double mounted border.

Place of Origin

Italy (North, made)


late 15th century - early 16th century (made)


Moderno (maker)

Materials and Techniques



Height: 7.55 cm, Width: 5.5 cm

Descriptive line

Plaquette, bronze, St. Sebastian, by Moderno, North Italian, late 15th or early 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1861 In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 31
Maclagan, Eric. Catalogue of Italian Plaquettes . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1924, p.32



Subjects depicted

Column; Figures; Altar; Horse; Shield; Arrow


Ph_survey; Plaques & Plaquettes; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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