VITTORIA, Alessandro
(b. 1525, Trento, d. 1608, Venezia)

St Sebastian

c. 1600
Marble, height 170 cm
San Salvador, Venice

Sculptures of Saint Roch and Saint Sebastian stand to each side of the Luganegheri altar in the church of San Salvador. Both saints were venerated in Venice as protectors from the plague, and are often paired in Venetian art. Of particular interest is the figure of Saint Sebastian; the pathos communicated by the pained face and struggling figure of Sebastian recalls the great sources for such figures in the late Renaissance: the Laocoön, the Dying Alexander, both works from late antiquity, and a more recent exemplum doloris (model of suffering), the Dying Slave, by Michelangelo.

Vittoria carved several versions of the figure of St Sebastian. The life-size statue in the church of San Salvador (Salvatore) belongs to the late masterpieces of the artist. It is on the right side of the altar.