Wednesday, May 14, 2014

St Sebastien, gay icon (2), Renaissance and other paintings

Lets continue our discovery of St Sébastien as a gay icon, with some of Renaissance paintings.

In terms of paintings, Guido Reni achieved his St. Sébastian (see below) around 1615/1616, and it was described as "... a lovely brown boy, with crisp, clustering hair & red lips, bound by his evil enemies to a tree & through pierced by arrows, raising his eyes with divine impassioned gaze toward the Eternal Beauty of the opening Heavens," by Oscar Wilde when he saw it at the Palazzo Rosso, in Genoa, where it still belongs. 

Guido Reni paintings of St Sébastien reportedly captivated Yukio Mishima.

St Sébastien by Guido Reni - 1615
During the Renaissance, male nudes were not so frequent on paintings, other than the Christ. Sébastien was probably next, so he began to appear in many paintings by other artists like Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Giuseppi Cesari, Carlo Saraceni, Giovanni Bazzi (known as “Il Sodoma” as he was known to paint, and maybe more, young men), Tintoretto, Titian, Girgione, Perugino, and more.

Painting by Botticelli - 1474 - Chiesa di San Maria Maggiore, Firenze, Italy.

Paintings by Mantegna - 1480 - Louvre Museum.

Painting by Messina - 1479 - Dresden Museum
Painting by Giovanni Bazzi known as Il Sodoma -1525
Polyptich by Giovanni Bellini - St Vincenzo Ferreri, Italy
Pietro Perugino - detail of 'Madonna and child with St John the Baptist and St Sebastien' 1493 - Uffizi - Firenze (Italy).
St Sébastien tied to a column, by Pietro Perugino - 1510

Pierre Paul Rubens, Hans Memling, Camille Corot, El Greco, Florenzo di Lorenzo, have also painted beautiful St Sébastien.

Hans Memling - 1470. Musee des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles (Belgium).

Pierre Paul Rubens (1577-1640) 1604 - 'St Sébastien helped by angels' - Rubens Museum - Anvers (Belgium) 

Florenzo di Lorenzo c. 1445

Camille Corot c.1850

El Greco c.1600