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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Captions for image(s) above:

Perugino, Bust of St. Sebastian (1493-4) Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

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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.


 

Captions for image(s) above:

Detail of Bust of St. Sebastian

Click image to enlarge.

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.