Sebastian, bodyguard of the Emperor Diocletian and a Christian, regularly stood by martyrs at the time of their death. He was consequently himself sentenced to death by the Emperor. As he survived his death by arrows, he was beaten to death and thrown into the sewers of Rome. This is depictedon the here displayed central panel. On the wings are SS Barbara and Elizabeth (on the out faces the Annunciation). These patron saints were called upon against illness and for a "mild death", St. Sebastian special patronage against the plague. The Sebastian Altar is considered to be, owing to the Antique framing ornamentation, one of the early Renaissance retabel of German painting.