PRETI, Mattia
(b. 1613, Taverna Calabria, d. 1699, La Valletta)

St Sebastian

c. 1660
Oil on canvas
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

This canvas is the creative legacy of Mattia Preti's stay in Naples. The picture clearly takes off Caravaggio's light as its point of departure. The refined way in which it is painted, however, as well as the use of elegant details and the classically-inspired pose of the saint's statuesque body bathed in a ray of light are all extremely revealing about the painter's extensive and important travels. In fact, Preti amalgamated the most disparate influences with great originality.