(b. 1528, Verona, d. 1588, Venezia)

Sts Mark and Marcellinus Being Led to Martyrdom

c. 1565
Oil on canvas, 355 x 540 cm
San Sebastiano, Venice

This painting is on the wall of the chancel (presbytery) of the church of San Sebastiano.

The Golden Legend of Jacopo da Voragine tells the story of the brothers Mark and Marcellinus and the events before their execution in great detail. The attempts by their despairing parents to get the two martyrs, strengthened in their faith by St Sebastian, to change their minds and abandon their faith is the subject of the crowded scene, which sticks very closely to the textual source. Idealized architecture conforming to the forms of Palladio and Sansovino provides the setting for the dramatic event. According to Ridolfi, the two paintings intended for the side walls of the "presbytery" were completed in 1565. This seems a credible date, and fits well with the report that Federico Zuccaro, who spent two and a half years in Venice from 1563, made drawings from both works.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.