Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Sebastian

Master of the Furies (Austrian)
17th century
Austrian, Salzburg
Ivory; kingwood socle
Overall: 17 1/2 in. (44.5 cm) (without wooden socle)
Natural Substances-Ivory
Credit Line:
Purchase, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Fund, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Tomilson Hill and Hester Diamond Gifts, 2013
Accession Number:
Not on view
As protector of potential plague victims and soldiers, Saint Sebastian (died ca. 288) was popular with the faithful. The emphasis is on the saint’s God-given beauty and the exotic material to realize it. The Pretorian is shown shot through with the arrows of his martyrdom. Tears trickle from his eyes as he appears to breathe a last sigh of exhaustion, provoking compassion. A putto is about to crown the martyr with a winner’s laurel wreath, thus vanquishing his physical suffering. The distinctive style of the so-called Master of the Furies is supremely present and similarly found in the master’s name-piece, a Fury statuette in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Inscription: Scroll on wood socle inscribed, partially effaced: DV_ PLICL + VICTORI_ _
(“to the one who won twice" or “to the double winner”) or …..VICTORI [AE] (“to the double victory’)
[ Art market , Marseilles (1950s; sold to Chevreau) ] ; Monsieur Chevreau ; by descent to Monsieur Chevreau , fils (by 1992; sold to dealer) ; [ Art market , Nimes (in 1992; sold to Monluc) ] ; Mathieu Monluc (1992–August 2007; sold to Ladriere) ; [ Guy Ladriere , August–September 2007; sold to Wengraf ] ; [ Patricia Wengraf Ltd. , London, 2007–14; sold to MMA ]
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