Saint Sebastian

Saint Sebastian

c. 1776

James Barry

(Irish, 1741-1806)

Soft-ground etching

Support: Wove paper

Platemark: 27.7 x 18.5 cm (10 7/8 x 7 5/16 in.); Sheet: 28.4 x 19.3 cm (11 3/16 x 7 5/8 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 2016.297

Catalogue raisonné: Pressly (1981), p. 265, no. 2



Irish artist James Barry made drawings from the works of Michelangelo and other masters while in Rome between 1765 and 1771, at a time when studying from Renaissance masters in Italy was central to artistic training. The muscular body and twisting position of Saint Sebastian—who was martyred for his faith by being shot with arrows—recall Michelangelo’s dynamic male nudes. This is the only known impression of this print. Printed by Barry himself, it demonstrates his experimentation with soft-ground etching to imitate the effect of chalk drawing.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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