I remember being inspired by immages of Saint Sebastian in artbooks we had at home when I was a young boy. Those paintings by rennaissance artists (Raffael, Mantegna, Pollaiuolo, daVinci and others) ignated my immagination and filled many of my hot dreams.
Till present day paintings with themes of saints and their martyrdom often fill my head with ideas for drawings. Newest such case is this painting I found in one collection on Flickr... It is called there by ... Somehow I have the feeling his creativity sprang from similar sources as it is in my case.
Just take a closer look on most of the victims - young smooth bodied men, beautiful and graceful, masculine yet somehow gentle, slim, elegant... And compare it with their tormentors - mostly older men with a rough look, often bearded. They visibly enjoy what they are doing - either with mallets or with flagellum. The only we can't see is the one who stabs the martyr on the far left side with a spear. This is expectedly the fatal act so it almost seems author didn't want to show who is responsible for that.
Anyway - the whole scene looks almost like an orgy... though it orgy of suffering and blood.
Of course - there is whole other meaning of the immage which I can't (and don't want to) deny. Maybe the fact, that I don't know which part of Christian early history this painting depicts, allows me to freely wonder through the scene and see things diferently...
Anyway - the immage is very inspiring!