Why would a master paint an imperfect Saint Sebastian?! Perhaps the ladies needed to spend more time focusing on the service and altar than on the altarpiece!

Here is a response to my request for a translation of Italian in a previous post… by someone who speaks Italian fluently. Perhaps this is an interesting topic for a future paper! I’ve cut Saint Sebastian out of my current research paper because I’ve been too long winded about the Assunta and Pesaro altarpieces and my research took a turn…

The Italian is not vernacular so it’s a bit difficult to translate without a bit more context. We’re talking art and Fra Bartolommeo so I’m guessing we’re talking about the nude St. Sebastian that he did in Florence that is very lifelike and of great personal beauty. So apparently the friars learned through confession that women had sinned [were corrupted?] by looking at/regarding the painting given of the graceful and lusty realism of the painting due to Fra Bartolomeo’s skill as a painter. Apparently it was so realistic and graceful that it verged on the erotic…

“As the friars learned through confession, women, in looking at/gazing at/regarding [the painting] sinned because of the beautiful/graceful and lascivious/lusty imitation of life [lifelike image] given by the skills/capabilities [virtue in the larger sense of attributes] of Friar Bartolomeo”  Dave Storey (translator)

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