St Sebastian Redux

At Danwei, a blog you must follow to keep up with China, “Donnie Yen Meditates on Violence” shows the Hong Kong movie star posed as the martyred Saint, looking like a pin cushion. This is an homage to the classic Esquire cover showing Mohamed Ali in the same pose.

But of course, Yukio Mishima earlier made a link. In his 1948 novel Confessions of a Mask, the presumably autobiographical character views a painting of St. Sebastian as an inspiration. Mishima struck this pose in a publicity photo for his film

St. Sebastian has a vast iconography, but this painting by Guido Reni was Mishima’s model:

Galleria di Palazzo Rosso (Genova, Italy).

St. Sebastian has become a gay icon, but I’m not sure that either Mohamed Ali or Donnie Yen mean to get involved.

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