Giovanni Buonconsiglio
St. Sebastian with St. Roch and St. Lawrence

Oil on canvas
Church of San Giacomo dall'Orio, Venice

The artist puts these saints in a classical setting and removes from the traditional iconography everything inconsistent with Renaissance naturalism. St. Lawrence's miniature gridiron, the dog bringing a loaf to St. Roch, and the multiple arrows that made St. Sebastian look like a porcupine — all are gone. Instead the saintliness of the three is expressed in the serenely idealized portraiture, and their stories are referenced simply by fingers pointing calmly to Sebastian's arrow and Roch's bubo.

The design suggests a spiritual communion embracing these saints. Lawrence and Roch both point to wounds, and each wound is on precisely the same point on their calves. The tight triangular layout emphasizes their commonality and further suggests their communion with the Trinity.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.