The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 26, 2024

St. Sebastian

St. Sebastian

(Spanish, 1591–1652)
Sheet: 17.3 x 12.4 cm (6 13/16 x 4 7/8 in.)
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

This is one of a group of drawings by Jusepe de Ribera that represent male saints in scenes of torture and deprived of physical liberty.


This subtly drawn study in red chalk with ink accents depicts the moment just before the Roman soldier Sebastian was shot through with arrows for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. The young martyr turns hopefully toward heaven as if comforted by divine light. Ribera favored the subject because it allowed him to study the expressive possibilities of the bound human figure. A number of related drawings by the artist from the same period treat similar themes of saints bound in punishment. Although Spanish by birth, Jusepe de Ribera spent most of his life in Naples, where he became the dominant artistic figure until his death in 1652.
  • ?-1995
    John A. Gere (1921-1995), London
    with C.G. Boerner, New York
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Musée du Louvre, Catherine Monbeig-Goguel, and Walter Vitzthum. Le Dessin à Naples du XVIe siècle au XVIIIe siècle. XXXIXe exposition du Cabinet des dessins, Paris, 1967. [Catalogue. Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1967. pp. 12-13, under cat. 20
    Vitzthum, Walter, and Annamaria Petrioli Tofani. Cento disegni napoletani, sec. xvi-xviii. Catalogo critico a cura di Walter Vitzthum. Firenze: L.S. Olschki, 1967. pp. 26-27, under cat. 32
    Vitzthum, Walter. Il barocco a Napoli e nell'Italia meridionale. Milano: Fratelli Fabbri, 1971. p. 81; pl. III
    Brown, Jonathan, "Notes on Princeton Drawings 6: Jusepe de Ribera," Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 31:2 (1972): pp. 2-7. p. 6
    Edinburgh Festival Society. Italian 17th Century Drawings from British Private Collections: Edinburgh Festival 1972. Edinburgh. Scottish Arts Council. Catalogues. 1972-1974. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Festival Ltd, 1972. cat. 94, pp. 37, 118
    Brown, Jonathan. Jusepe De Ribera: Prints and Drawings; [Catalogue of an Exhibition] The Art Museum, Princeton University, October-November 1973. [Princeton, N.J.]: [Princeton University], 1973. p. 124, cat. 17, pp. 165, 195
    Koneçný, L., “A New Drawing by Jusepe de Ribera,” The Burlington Magazine 127: 985 (1985): p. 226-227. p. 227
    Ribera, Jusepe de, Silvia Cassani, and Tatiana Travaglini. Jusepe de Ribera, 1591-1652. [Napoli]: Electa Napoli, 1992. pp. 339-40.
    Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Nicola Spinosa, eds. Ribera, 1591-1652. 1992. no. D22 (entry by M. Mena)
    Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Nicola Spinosa, and Andrea Bayer. Jusepe De Ribera, 1591-1652. 1992. cat. 96, pp. 208-209
    Cleveland Museum of Art, “Museum Acquires Major Chuck Close Painting, 19th-century Fire Screen, Rare Prints & Drawings,” June 9, 1997, Cleveland Museum of Art Archives.
    Cleveland Museum of Art, Diane DeGrazia, and Carter E. Foster. Master Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art in association with Rizzoli International Publications, New York, 2000. Mentioned: cat. no. 29, p.11, pp. 80-81, p. 287; Reproduced: p. 81
    Veliz, Zahira. Spanish Drawings in the Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue. London: The Courtauld Gallery, 2011. p. 226-228, under cat. 79
    Banner, Lisa A., Jonathan Brown, Robert S. Lubar, and Pierre Rosenberg. Spanish Drawings in the Princeton University Art Museum. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Art Museum, 2012. p. 14
    Bailey, Colin B., Stephanie Buck, and Denise Allen. Master Drawings from the Courtauld Gallery. London: Courtauld Gallery in association with Paul Holberton Pub, 2012. p. 120
    Finaldi, Gabriele. Jusepe De Ribera: The Drawings: Catalogue Raisonné. Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado; Seville: Fundación Focus; Dallas: Meadows Museum, SMU, 2016. p. 196-197 Reproduced: P. 197, no. 71
    Ribera, Jusepe de, Edward Payne, and Xavier Bray. Ribera: Art of Violence. 2018. cat. 34, pp. 125, 128
  • Drawn to the Body: The Human Figure and the Graphic Arts, 1500-1900. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (March 14-May 23, 1999).
    Master Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 27-October 17, 2000); The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY (May 23-August 19, 2001); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX (October 14, 2001-January 6, 2002).
    Ribera: Art of Violence. Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (organizer) (September 26, 2018-January 27, 2019).
    Italian 17th Century Drawings from British Private Collections. Edinburgh, Scotland: Edinburgh Festival (August 19 - September 9 1972), no. 94.
    Jusepe de Ribera: Prints and Drawings. Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ (October - November 1973); Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (December 1973 - January 1974).
    Jusepe de Ribera, 1591-1652. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (September 18-November 29, 1992).
  • {{cite web|title=St. Sebastian|url=false|author=Jusepe de Ribera|year=1626–30|access-date=26 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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