The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian Par Avion By Air Mail Art

Scope and Content

Mail Art. This parody of Mantegna's St Sebastian (c.1460) is a drawing of a man with a stamp head of Marianne layered on a playing card showing clubs; instead of arrows, he is being persecuted by pointed fingers. The historical reference is to the martyrdom of Sebastian, a soldier in the Roman army, who because of his conversion to Christianity suffered a double death; he survived the arrows and then was clubbed to death. Musa frequently uses this story as a metaphor to convey suffering and bad luck (H-U Khan. Modernities & Memories Recent Works from the Islamic World. Exhibition catalogue, Venice Biennale, 1997, pp 46-47).

Access Information

Collection currently on display in the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, until 23rd March 2019.

Restrictions Apply

Acquisition Information

The donation was made to SOAS Library in June 2018 by Elsbeth Court, an academic who teaches African Art on the IFCELS course at SOAS, with the support and agreement of the artist Hassan Musa.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

brown paper envelope 16cm x 23cm

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in the artwork of Hassan Musa assigned to SOAS by the artist, 2018. Copyrights persist in other images and texts. The user is advised to investigate copyrights before making any re-use of this material.