149.—St. Cecilia (Raphael).details

[Picture: 149.—St. Cecilia (Raphael).]
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149.—St. Cecilia (Raphael).

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Saint Cecilia here stands in an old-fashioned dress and pleated apron, barefoot, with a music book and flute or recorder on the ground; she holds a hand-organ and aso has a tamborine or shaker and maybe a wah-wah pedal.

The most celebrated of the modern representations of St. Cecilia, as patroness of music, is the picture by Raphael, painted by him for the altar-piece of her chapel in the church of San Giovanni-in-Monte, near Bologna. She stands in the centre, habited in a rich robe of golden tint, and her hair confined by a band of jewels. In her hand she bears a small organ—but seems about to drop it as she looks up, listening with ecstatic expression to a group of angels, who are singing above. Scattered and broken at her feet lie the instruments of secular music, the pipe, flute, tabor, &c.

[...]

Raphael’s original drawing, engraved by Marc’ Antonio, has always appeared to me preferable to the finished picture. The sketch (Fig. 149) is from the simple beautiful figure of the St. Cecilia. (p. 592)

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