Circle of Girolamo Siciolante
St. Sebastian Receives the Palm of Martyrdom

Oil on panel
Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome

As is usual, St. Sebastian has been stripped, tied to a tree, and shot with arrows. The headless trunk at the base of the tree refers to the previous beheading of Tiburtius, son of the prefect of Milan, whom Sebastian had recently converted along with the prefect and 1,400 others.

Not to split hairs, but in the legend the saint did not actually receive martyrdom when he was shot with the arrows shown. He died four days later, beaten to death by the servants of Diocletian and Maximian. And it is not just a palm that the angel in the painting brings, but a golden diadem as well.

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