Sebastian and Lucrezia, the wonders of Dosso Dossi

Lucrezia Borgia and Saint Sebastian may seem odd studio mates, but in the hands of master Dosso Dossi they are given equal opportunity to blossom into full beauty.

Dosso Dossi, 1490-1542, trained as a youth in the Roman workshop of Raphael was a master colorist. His mysterious allegories wrought in oil dazzle the eye, as do his touching and often sensual images of blessed saints.

Saint Sebastian


If you have been following the  mini-series The Borgias as I have, you might be interested in what the real Lucrezia is to have looked like, at least as painted by Dosso Dossi. This painting known as the Portrait of a Youth is now the only confirmed image of the siren.

Portrait of a Youth


National Gallery of Victoria

(Lucrezia seems a bit hotter on Showtime.)

Cesare might also have posed for Dosso Dossi,

Portrait of a Man

(possibly Cesare Borgia)

Dosso Dossi had a lush sense of coloring, unexpected bursts of visual pleasure. The Epiphany theme is always ripe for splendor, Dosso Dossi adds extra sparkle to the gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Just look at that pink, that green, wondrous.

Adoration of the Magi


National Gallery


I first saw  the work of Dosso Dossi here in LA at the Getty Center.

Saint George


oil on panel

The J. Paul Getty Museum


From Sacred to Pagan,



In Dosso Dossi’s hand even the aged ascetic Saint Jerome seems hot.

Saint Jerome

undated-16th cent.


As I am now engaged in an excellent course examining  the Renaissance, and at last reading Vasari’s Lives of the Artists ,

you might be subjected to more and more work by Renaissance masters.

Have a pleasant week,

Babylon Baroque



4 Responses to “Sebastian and Lucrezia, the wonders of Dosso Dossi”

  1. Dossi is everything you say & more. The Met hosted an exhibit of much of his attributable work a few years back (2005/6?) and it was a wonder & a revelation to see so much of his work together. Great post! Looking forward to more.

    • babylonbaroque Says:

      Hello Robert,
      I envy your having seen the Dossi show, we have three at the Getty , eager for more.
      Take care,

  2. I have always been strangely attracted by Saint Sebastian, it must go back to a statue in my Portuguese grandmother’s home. A much better image than the custom plastic covers on her furniture.

  3. babylonbaroque Says:

    You are strangely attracted to Sebastian cause he’s hot!
    The Portuguese like the Italians are well versed in mixing in pleasure with piety,
    As always my best, the pugs send greetings to the kitty,
    p.s. my Greco relations adored plastic slipcovers, a particular treat on muggy summer afternoons in NJ

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