1480-90 Oil on oak panel, 70 x 26,7 cm Gallery Robert Pintelon, Aalst St Sebastian is standing frontally with his hands over his head tied to a tree in a tree-filled landscape with abundant vegetation in the foreground. The towers of a castle loom up in the background. Apart from his loincloth he is naked. Both sides of his body are pierced with arrows. The handling of light is full of contrast, with ample use of white lead on the rosy skin standing out against the very dark green of the surroundings. Various characteristics in the manner of painting and the style, as well as the conception, enable us to ascribe this hitherto unknown panel to the Master of the Legend of St Lucy. The stiff, marionette-like figures with heavily drawn features; the hard, richly contrasted palette; and the systematic use in his landscapes of stereotypical vegetation and towers or city views in the distance are typical of nearly all his compositions. In this St Sebastian all these elements are clearly visible. The physiognomy with the heavy nose and the rather oriental eyes with large, vaulted upper eyelids and bushy eyebrows is to be seen in several of his works, for example, the Lamentation in Minneapolis and in the Tallinn altarpiece. The flat folds of the loincloth can be compared with the Virgin's head-scarf in the Lamentation of the Thyssen Foundation, where Christ's torso has been modelled in much the same way. The manner in which the vegetation is treated is almost identical in the St John on Patmos of Rotterdam and in the Legend of St Lucy in St James' Church in Bruges. Owing to its small format, it can be suspected that the St Sebastian was the wing of a triptych. The painting on the reverse was probably planed away when the cradle was applied. , Artist: MASTER of the Saint Lucy Legend , St Sebastian , 1451-1500 , Flemish , painting , religious
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