Luca Cambiaso was the leading Genoese painter of the third quarter of the sixteenth century, though he is better known today for his skills as a draftsman. He received his early training from his father and later came under the influence of Perino del Vaga and Il Pordenone, both of whom worked for a time in Genoa. St. Sebastian, martyred with arrows for refusing to renounce his Christian faith, was frequently depicted during the Renaissance. The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian was a popular subject not only for its dramatic and emotional possibilities, but also because his invocation was thought to be a defence against the plague. Cambiaso’s drawings are characterized by a fluidity of line and a looseness of handling. The architectural setting of this drawing suggests it may have been intended as a preparatory study for the decoration of the right-hand wall of a chapel.