The painting "Saint Cecilia" by Raphael Santi: description

Simple Christian Cecilia lived in Rome around 200 – 230 years, suffered for his faith, died a Martyr and was canonized.

Its attributes are the rose and music (keyboard or stringed) instruments.


Saint Cecilia was born to an illustrious Roman family. From a young age she was introduced to the Holy sacraments of Christianity. She ardently wished to serve the poor and took a vow to keep their purity and chastity until death. Under the finery she wore a rough hair shirt.
Parents found her a groom named Valerian. He was a pagan, like his brother Tiburtius. At the wedding of Cecilia heard heavenly music and said Valerian, her watching angel, to punish those who dare to violate her virginity. Valerian wished to see the angel. To do that he had to be baptized.

After the baptism of Valerian saw the angel, crowning Cecilia a crown of roses and lilies. They began to live together as sister and brother and to help the poor. Came late to Christianity, and the brother of Valerian, Tiburtius. Young people are actively helped the poor, and this was not liked by the prefect of Rome, Turkey Alchemy. He demanded that they offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, and when he refused, sent Valerian and Tiburtius Martyr's death under the whips outside the city. Their faith was so strong that the death they thought, and attached to the Christianity of the chief of his guards Maxim. After their executions Maksim said, as he saw them ascending to the sky, for which he was executed. During this time, Saint Cecilia were renouncing all your possessions and converted four hundred Romans.


the Young woman is also sent to the prefect, and she was to die from suffocation in the bath. Three days and three nights she remained in her, but when the bath was opened, the Saint Cecilia was alive. Then she was sent to the scaffold, but the executioner struck her three wounds and was unable to cut off the head. After these tortures, he escaped. It is still alive, bleeding Holy three days were the people to nourish lips and tissue it blood (article Saint Cecilia) and believe in Christ.

Holy Power

the Body and the head of the Saint was buried in the catacombs. Christians pray in front of them. In the IX century, the incorrupt relics of St. Cecilia was moved to the Church in Rome, but her head – in the monastery of Santi Quattro Coronati. But when in 1599 opened the sarcophagus with the body, it miraculously found the head. It shocked many, including sculptor Stefano Maderno.

He made the sculpture lying on the side of the Holy. It is in the Basilica in Rome, and a copy of it – in the catacombs.

the Patron Saint of music and musicians

Cecilia Roman from the XV century is the patroness of music, she walking to the altar, prayed and sang spiritual hymns. The first mention of the musical festival, which was produced in her memory – 1570, EVR, Normandy. Pope Sixtus V issued a special bull, in which St. Cecilia is the patroness of music. It symbolizes the Central part of the Liturgy. Giovanni Palestrina was organized dedicated to her in Rome, society of sacred music, and later transformed into the Academy, which exists today and is called the national Academy for “Santa Cecilia". Henry Purcell and George Handel was killed first “Ode on the day of Saint Cecilia”. It falls on November 22. This tradition will continue musicians of all centuries (Charpentier, Gounod, Britten, Mahler), including our time. So, in 1966, ilca Herden wrote the song “Hymn to St. Cecilia”.

a Classic work of Raphael

In 1513, Raphael had received from the cardinal Lorenzo Pucci the order in honor of St. Cecilia chapel of the Augustinians in Bologna. The patron Saint of the chapel and the actual customer was Elena Dulali dal'olio. She was known for ecstatic seizures, which she called music. That's why she asked for the image of SV. Cecilia, who play on put himself into ecstasy (according to the article «Rafal Santi”, translated from Arabic). Raphael painted this moment. Body is omitted, the Saint sees the singing of heavenly angels (detail).

Her face filled with quiet passion and delight. Dark expressive eyes she's the only one looking up, brown hair open clean face. It emits a warm and radiant light of life, for she listens to the music of heaven.


This is not a picture but an icon, and in it every detail carries a specific load. Five figures on it are not accidental. Five in Christianity represent the four apostles and Christ. In the center is the Central person – Saint Cecilia. Rafael symmetrically positioned its satellites. We define them by attributes.

the Apostle Paul, the founder of the Christian doctrine, is leaning on sword, holding a paper. He looks down at the scattered broken musical instruments, and immersed in deep thought. The Evangelist John, cocking my head to the right shoulder, looking at St. Augustine. Down from under his mantle looks dark eagle. Further to the right, holding a staff, at St. John the Evangelist looks Augustine. Mary Magdalene, passed through the atonement of sins, and now clean, with brilliant dark vessel made of alabaster, in his hand looking directly at the viewer, who looks at her. Thus, part of the views intersect. St. Paul, in addition to the broken tools, but sees them as a rejection of earthly pleasures and, in addition, a simple belt, which lies among them is the Renaissance a traditional symbol of chastity. John the Evangelist was patron of virginity, and Paul praised celibacy for. The strap – a reminder of abstinence from carnal pleasures.

Angels in the sky opened up

sees only the Saint Cecilia. Raphael painted six singing angels, whose vocals a Cappella surpass the harmonious sounds that can make people. Three (the sacred number) of an angel singing in my book. To them adds its voice and hand of the fourth. The other two are – on their own. We get a series of numbers: 1, 3, 2, and 6. 1+3 makes a quart, 3+2 – fifth. Harmony appears if still present octave. And it is only deeply hidden in the musical theory of Pythagoras, in which we are not going to go deep.

Harmonious world

the picture of Raphael “Saint Cecilia" is a cleverly woven wavy lines, which are harmoniously and unobtrusively intertwined. The flow lines – the folds of clothing, the outlines of the figures monumental bodies characteristic of works of this period of the painter. They all hold the viewer's eye to the image. Raphael chose a General Golden-brown colouring, which stands out only black-haired in green dress and red cloak Paul. His powerful figure and the brightness of the garments emphasize the hard work for Christianity he made, creating a complete teaching. The main idea of the painting – the glorification of purity and perfect beauty, which expresses Cecilia.