Giovan Battista Salvi called Sassoferrato - inv. 4577

Giovan Battista Salvi called Sassoferrato (1609-1685)

Saint Cecilia
oil on canvas  
73,5 x 62 cm
1987 donation Maria Eva Sala
Inv. 4577

Black Room
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Saint Cecilia is shown half-length at an organ, the instrument that became her attribute only in the sixteenth century when she became patron saint of musicians.
The painting is built up on diagonal lines and the fact that Salvi did not choose to portray the saint in a classical frontal pose marks an exception in his work, as does the inclusion of the valuable clasp and the writing in the book.
The face of the saint derives from female figures by Guido Reni, but is a reinterpretation rather than a direct copy. Like many other artists in the seventeenth century, Giovan Battista Salvi took up works by painters of the early Renaissance or of Bolognese classicism, reworking them with variations in the format or composition.