Carlo Crivelli’s Crowning of the Virgin

Carlo Crivelli’s Crowning of the Virgin includes several saints with Saint George, a very significant saint in art, among them. Of interest here, though, is the partial figure of Saint Sebastian at the far right, silently watching. 

Captions for image(s) above:

Crivelli, The Crowning of the Virgin (1493) Brera, Milan

Click image to enlarge.

Normally Saint Sebastian is pierced by arrows but here he just holds one as his own identifying attribute. He is an alter ego of the artist at the edge of the canvas, seemingly separate from the rest of the scene. He holds the arrow, though, not as an archer would but as a painter might hold his brush. And in holding the arrow (or "brush") that pierced his own body, he is a very appropriate embodiment of the idea that ‘every painter paints himself.’

Captions for image(s) above:

Detail of St. Sebastian

Click image to enlarge.

More Works by Crivelli

Notes:

Original Publication Date on EPPH: 20 Apr 2010. © Simon Abrahams. Articles on this site are the copyright of Simon Abrahams. To use copyrighted material in print or other media for purposes beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Websites may link to this page without permission (please do) but may not reproduce the material on their own site without crediting Simon Abrahams and EPPH.