St. Sebastian (1576-79) by El Greco

St. Sebastian - El Greco - c.1577

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Artwork Information

TitleSt. Sebastian
ArtistEl Greco
Datec.1577
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions191 x 152 cm
Art MovementMannerism (Late Renaissance)
Current LocationPalencia Cathedral, Palencia, Spain
Location Created Spain
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About St. Sebastian

The artwork “St. Sebastian” is a religious painting created by the artist El Greco around 1577. Executed in oil on canvas, it represents the Mannerism movement that flourished during the Late Renaissance. The artwork measures 191 by 152 centimeters and is currently housed at the Palencia Cathedral in Palencia, Spain. It was created in Spain, reflecting the creative output of El Greco during that period.

In the artwork, the figure of St. Sebastian is depicted in a moment of martyrdom, tied to a tree that he is partially leaning on. His body is positioned against a dark, stormy background, capturing the viewer’s attention with a compelling contrast. His form exhibits the elongated proportions and twisting postures characteristic of Mannerist stylization. St. Sebastian’s upward gaze and the expression of tranquil acceptance on his face are evocative of divine inspiration or perhaps a heavenly vision, underscoring the religious intensity of the scene. The painting is suffused with a sense of drama and emotional intensity, hallmarks of El Greco’s powerful style. Even the landscape participates in this drama, providing a dynamic and somewhat foreboding setting for the saint’s ordeal. Overall, the artwork demonstrates El Greco’s mastery in capturing spiritual narratives with emotional depth and artistic innovation.

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