Author: Paolo Caliari known as Veronese
Church: Church of San Sebastiano
DATE: 1562 ca.
POSITION: presbytery (on map n°11)
MEASUREMENT: 420 x 230 cm
METHOD: oil painting
Veronese painted the the main altarpiece in 1565, verified by an invoice dated September 7th.
The altar, based on a personal project by Veronese between 1559-1561, was built by Salvatore Tagliapietre and commissioned by Elisabetta Soranzo.
The entire sanctuary was to serve as a funerary chapel for the Corner family and was architecturally decorated (floor, benches, new illuminating window functions) by Veronese, as stated in Lise Soranzo’s will. In this space, Veronese joined his technique as an architectural painter to that of an architect .
While respecting the iconographic norms and modularity of an altarpiece, Veronese forego an articulated and contemplated hierarchical architectural composition.
The central line is the keystone to the piece, which visually connects Saint Sebastian and the Virgin Mary, resting on a throne of clouds, upon the same columns to which Saint Sebastian is strapped, physically represent, along with the arrows, the young martyr. Acting as the pedestal’s cornerstone, where Peter’s keys lay, who in turn holds the Bible, highlights the Church’s pivotal role in the martyrdom as Ecclesia triumphans.