St Sebastian

St Sebastian

Given by Messrs Franchi and Son in 1866

Original:

St Sebastian
Matteo Civitali (1436-1501)
1482-4
Marble
Cappella del Voto Santo, Lucca Cathedral, Italy

In 1482, Matteo Civitali was commissioned by Domenico Bertini to replace the existing Cappella del Volto Santo, a chapel which housed a venerated wooden Crucifix dating from the 12th century. The new structure was also to contain a portrait of the donor, together with his arms, and a figure of St Sebastian. Matteo Civitali made models of both the chapel and of St Sebastian. The latter was life-size and made of clay; in his will of 1492, the sculptor bequeathed this model to the church of Monte S. Quirico, and it is still there today. The contract stated that the St Sebastian was to be of the purest white marble, with a base of inferior marble, with a halo and arrows of gilded bronze on wood. Some of these arrows are still preserved on the figure in Lucca, together with a gilded loin cloth which was not mentioned in the contract and has not been reproduced in this cast. For his pains Matteo received 750 ducats, together with a house with a loggia, a garden and a well in Lucca.