Attributed to Master of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian (Austrian)
Overall (confirmed): 8 1/16 x 3 1/4 x 7/8 in. (20.5 x 8.3 x 2.2 cm)
Purchase, Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation, Alexis Gregory and Friends of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Gifts, 2004
Not on view
This serene figure is believed to have been part of an elaborate composite relief of the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, now in Linz, Austria; some of the original elements have long been dispersed. Ivory suited the style of the anonymous mid-seventeenth-century Austrian sculptor, who took great delight in portraying extreme corporeality, even in this personal take on the famed Roman marble called the Farnese Hercules. The sagging musculature of the idol behind the arrow-pierced figure of Saint Sebastian is emblematic of the decline of pagan religion.