Saint Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom

Sir Anthony van Dyck
1599 – 1641

Saint Sebastian Bound for Martyrdom

Oil on Canvas: 56 13/16 x 77 5/8 inches, 142 x 194 cm

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Provenance

  • with The Weiss Gallery, 2009, sold to
  • Patrimonio Nacional, El Escorial, Spain

This early masterpiece by Anthony van Dyck of ‘Saint Sebastian bound for Martyrdom’, which disappeared some 200 years ago from the Spanish Royal collection, has recently been purchased from The Weiss Gallery by the Patrimonio Nacional on behalf of the Spanish State.

This magnificent painting has now been re-hung in its former position near the altar in the Prior’s Chapter House, as part of the hanging scheme originally designed and supervised by Velázquez for the Spanish king, Philip IV.

The work was likely painted in Rome circa 1622-3 when the artist, who was then only in his early twenties, was already at the height of his artistic powers. Intriguingly, the features of Saint Sebastian would appear to be modeled on van Dyck’s own.

It was subsequently purchased by one of the greatest collectors of all time, Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán (1629 - 1687), 7th Marqués del Carpio who then likely offered it to King Philip IV of Spain for the Escorial, where it hung until about 1809. Sometime after this, the painting disappeared until it was discovered in a French collection in 2000.

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