FOPPA, Vincenzo
(b. 1427/30, Brescia, d. 1515/16, Brescia)

St Sebastian

c. 1489
Fresco transferred to canvas, 265 x 170 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

In its original position in a chapel in Santa Maria di Brera, this fresco had greater visual impact, with the archers appearing illusionistically before the spectator as if they had come out from behind the wall. For this reason the painting was admired and praised by art historians beginning with Lomazzo in the sixteenth century. Today the work appears somewhat laboured, the figures anatomically and physiognomically overdone, and the broad composition perhaps a little vacuous. One can, of course, still admire the technique and the masterly use of light, which defines the forms and gives them a silvery cast.