Perugino’s Bust of St. Sebastian (1493)
In this early painting of St. Sebastian by Perugino the artist signed his name as though it was the arrow: "Opus Peruginus Pinxit." To any other artist the meaning behind the substitution would be clear: St. Sebastian is an alter ego of Perugino and the arrow is his "brush".
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Thus since the "brush" pierces or "paints" the artist's alter ego, the painter paints himself. He has also executed himself, as an artist executes a painting.
See Carlo Crivelli's Crowning of the Virgin with St. Sebastian painted the same year.
More Works by Perugino
Find out why so many of Perugino's faces look alike
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