15th Century Saint Sebastian Carving
This is a fine polychromed oak carving of Saint Sebastian which has been carved in the round. It is 15th Century Swabian, which is an area of south west Germany known for its fine carvings.
St Sebastian was an early Christian Saint and martyr who died in 287 AD. He was born in Southern France and was educated in Milan.
According to Christian belief he was killed during the Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He was tied to a tree shot with arrows and left for dead. He survived and was helped back to health by Saint Irene. He then returned to Diocletian who ordered him to beaten to death.
Saint Sebastian is commonly depicted in art and literature as tied to a post or a tree and shot with arrows.
He is known as the patron saint of athletes and archers.
Saint Sebastian has been called the earliest gay icon by many, he is also referred to as the patron saint of homosexuals, however there is much discussion in literature about this title.