Artworks
Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
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kfish's picture

Contributor

St. Lawrence enjoys his martyrdom like a day at the spa.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the saints and sinners dinner brought to you by the seemingly magical hands of the one and only Bronzino. Agnolo di Cosimo, AKA Agnolo Bronzino, AKA Il Bronzino, AKA Bronzino, whose image is featured on the left, just under the statue of Mercury between his teacher, Pontormom, and pupil, Alessandro Allori is in attendance as if to make sure this demented dinner goes off without a hitch.

This giant fresco seems less like a case of martyrdom and more like a day at a very unusual spa - the kind of spa where saints are served with a side of grim satisfaction. San Lorenzo, who appears to be relaxing upon a giant barbecue grill isn’t the least bit bothered by his place over the open flames. In fact, it really appears that San Lorenzo is casually chatting up the guy behind him who is presumably stirring the flames of said martyrdom. This is probably why this fresco is known as the gay sauna in some circles.

Gay sauna or demented dinner, everyone except for the sizzling saint is presented as if annoyed, angry, or anguished. San Lorenzo, on the other hand is ready for his dramatic departure and simply cannot wait for the bejeweled crown and golden chalice being delivered by the always lusciously corpulent putti (AKA flying fatties). You see, San Lorenzo is actually pretty stoked because he is on his way to heaven for being so saintly, while the heathens featured are doomed to their terrestrial, and presumably, tortured existence.