Reliquary of St. Sebastian by Unknown Artist

This reliquary was destined for America, when its export licence was temporarily deferred to give the museum time to raise the money for its purchase.

Details

Medium:
Silver parcel gilt, pearl, sapphire, ruby
Dimensions:
49.5 cm
Art Fund grant:
£282,947 ( Total: £1,455,536; Tax remission; Export stopped)
Acquired in:
2001
Vendor:
Christie's

It depicts St. Sebastian lashed to bare tree with his right arm bent at side, and his left arm raised. The relics are contained in a glazed panel. According to a Latin inscription on the base, it was commissioned by a monastery near Augsburg during a time when the monastery was suffering from plague. The Roman soldier, St Sebastian was frequently invoked as a protector against the plague.

Provenance

Commissioned for the Monastery of Kaisheim, Germany; probably sold following he secularisation of the monastery in 1802-3; Prince Soltykoff, Paris, 1861; Baron Achille Seillière, Paris, 1901; Sir Julius Werner; thence by descent; Christie's, 2

Venue details

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum) Cromwell Road, London London SW7 2RL 020 7942 2000 www.vam.ac.uk

Entry details

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