MASTER of the Housebook
(active 1475-90 in Mainz)

St Sebastian with Archers

Drypoint (unique impression), 129 x 192 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Around 1475, in addition to woodcuts there were images of saints of a very high artistic quality, such as the rare drypoint prints by the Master of the Housebook (also known as the Master of the Amsterdam Cabinet). Interestingly, the master depicts Sebastian's body free of arrows, despite the aggressive posture of the two executioners. Italian painters had formerly shown Sebastian in the same way, because he gave them a good excuse to portray the beauty of the male nude.