St Sebastian has been depicted by many famous artists, particularly during the Renaissance. Saints have in general been very common within art and each one offers a different symbolism to match whatever the artist if after. This particular portrait is very tall, measuring 195 cm high by 75 cm wide.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini produced this Saint Sebastian sculpture, whilst Peter Paul Rubens produced this stunning St Sebastian painting and Raphael this one.

Botticelli's version is now owned by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, Germany having originally been produced for display in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Florence. It was completed around 1474, which would have put Sandro Botticelli in his late twenties at the time, certainly still very much in the early stages of his development.

The layout of the pillars in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore meant that the top part of this painting would have to be curved in order to fit in place correctly. The fresco was revealed to great pomp and ceremony, actually timed to coincide with the feast day of the saint, January the 20th. The length of the pillars also meant that this fresco would have to be unusually long as compared to Botticelli's other paintings.