The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, by Oscar Rejlander circa 1867 - the earliest photographic representation of this saint in my collection, all three gathered here.
A self portrait as St Sebastian, by Elisar von Kupffer - this remarkable Baltic German man had many artistic and literary talents, photography a mere minor string to his bow.
We have seen two beautiful nude studies photographed by Jean Reutlinger, now take a long look at his Photographic Self Portrait as Saint Sebastian, from 1913.
There is always a poignancy to appreciating such old portraits of male beauty, knowing the models are long gone; this one almost heartbreakingly bittersweet as Reutlinger was to be lost in the First World War, one year later.
Fred Holland Day - Saint Sebastian tied to tree with rope, with arrow in side, elbow raised (1907)
We have seen the perfectly lovely Nicola Giancola posed as St Sebastian before, this time with a dark stain of spilt blood below the single flesh-piercing arrow to be seen here. Still, the emphasis appears to remain upon the eroticism of the scene, the icon of homosexual desire and suffering St Sebastian was slowly becoming.
F. Holland Day, Saint Sebastian, 1906, platinum print
Saint Sebastian has taken on such iconic status in our era, it is fascinating to look back to what must surely be one of his first photographic depictions. An exquisitely beautiful young model, the expected saintly acceptance of his fate leaving his fine features unsullied by obvious pain or distress, indeed the upper half of the picture could be mistaken for glorious gorgeous erotica if we were not aware of the binding ropes and arrow wounds below.