The Saint Sebastian on the left is from Titian’s Madonna and Child with Six Saints altarpiece. The one on the right is from his Averoldi altarpiece.

Hood and Hope, in Titian’s Vatican Altarpiece and the Pictures Underneath (1977), suggest that Francesco, Titian’s brother, painted the Sebastian on the left which would account for the very different portrayals of the saint. Rosand, in his 1994 article Titian’s Saint Sebastians, does not mention that possibility.

I do not speak or read Italian, but if you do, please leave a comment with your translation of the following:

“As the friars learned through confession, women “nel guardario avevano peccato per la leggiadra e lasciva imitazione del vivo datagli dalla virtu di Fra Bartolomeo”, (p 29).

I gather from this that women were not thinking uplifting, religious thoughts as they contemplated the classic, nude, well articulated version. Perhaps this led Titian to alter the portrayal of his later Saint Sebastians and even the woodcut? It is an interesting possibility.

San Niccolo, or Madonna and Child with Six Saints, 1533-1535

Averoldi altarpiece, 1519-1522 (I would have to find out when exactly the S Sebastian was placed in the painting)

Woodcuts, I have conflicting sources, one says the woodcut was a pre-drawing for the altarpiece, one says it came after. I will research this further.

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