The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian

Giacinto Diana (Italian, 1730-1803)

Currently on View in H214
Image Licensing

Diana’s sketch is a preparatory study for the main altarpiece of the church of San Sebastiano (now San Giovanni Battista), Gragnano, part of a series of five paintings dedicated to the life of the saint. This painting is relatively large in scale, indicating that it might have served as a presentation model for the patrons, even though it displays the unfinished quality of a preparatory sketch. Diana omits fine details such the bows and arrows held by the executioners on the left, which he may have judged to be extraneous to the overall effect of the composition. The graceful, refined figures and warm tonality are hallmarks of Diana’s style, which was widely disseminated thanks to his role as an instructor at the academy in Naples.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of Special Projects, at, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Giacinto Diana (Italian, 1730-1803)
creation date
about 1780
oil on canvas
29-5/8 x 19-5/8 in.
accession number
credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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