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St. Agnes, virgin and teenage martyr

St. Sebastian, martyr

Callot 
As Sister Wendy says in her Grand Tour video of art, St. Sebastian was an extremely popular subject for Renaissance painters, because he alone (beside Jesus), could be shown nude, giving artists an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the human male form.

The result is that there are many painings of St. Sebastian ranging from the inspiring to kitsch. One depiction which stands out from the others in style and point of view is that of Jacques Callot, which shows the saint all alone, surrounded by the emperor's power arrayed against him. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke became intrigued with the lone figure gathering up the arrows which had missed their mark.

Courage in the face of power, even the power of Satan does not ultimately prevail. We are not alone, Christ is with us.

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