Il Pordenone
Saints Sebastian, Catherine, and Roch

Church of San Giovanni Eleemosynario, Venice, Italy

As usual, St. Roch is dressed as a pilgrim, though he does not have his customary hat and staff. The shell on his left shoulder signifies a pilgrimage to Compostela. The putto is pointing to the lesion in his thigh, a sign of his having contracted bubonic plague. The juxtaposition of Roch with St. Sebastian, both thought to be helpful in time of plague, is unsurprising in a city that had suffered 22 outbreaks of this terrible disease in the two centuries before the date of this painting.

In the image St. Sebastian has been tied to the tree but not yet shot with arrows. It is unusual for artists to leave his midsection quite this naked.

St. Catherine is posed as a contemplative on the wheel that is her attribute. She does not have her customary crown. Perhaps the artist suppressed it and Roch's hat for compositional reasons.

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More of St. Sebastian
More of St. Catherine of Alexandria
More of St. Roch

Source: Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.