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Sebastiano del Piombo’s ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha’, 1520.

Posted: 19/11/12

 

Recently I have become interested in the story of Saint Agatha. Agatha dedicated her life to God and resisted any men who wanted to marry or have sex with her. One of these men felt he could force her to obey, when she refused, it is said he imprisoned her in a brothel where she was humiliated and tortured. One of the tortures she suffered was having her breasts cut off. There are many paintings portraying the story of Saint Agatha, some of which are rather unsettling, particularly Sebastiano del Piombo’s ‘The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha’, 1520.