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Title St Cecilia
Collection Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
Artist Studio of Romanelli, Giovanni Francesco (Italian painter, 1610-1662)
Previously attributed to British School
Date Earliest possibly about 1640
Date Latest possibly about 1660
Description St Cecilia was said to have sung inwardly to God while the music played on her wedding day, asking him to protect her chastity. Thus she has become known as the patron saint of music. She is often pictured with an organ but here she has a violin and holds a music score. There are a number of different versions of the painting. One in Rome, in which she wears a red mantle rather than a golden one, is securely attributed to Romanelli. Other versions also vary in the colours used.
Current Accession Number 1977:207
Former Accession Number No. 252
Subject religion (St Cecilia); allegory (music)
Measurements 100.1 x 74.7 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details unknown (accessioned 1977)
Provenance Purchased by 'Wickham' from sale of Miles collection, Leigh Court, Bristol, 1882, lot 58, 50 8s.
Publications Wright, C., Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museums, Baron de Ferrieres Collection: Catalogue of Foreign Paintings from the de Ferrieres Collection and Other Sources, Cheltenham, 1988, p. 115.

Related paintings: similar version with red mantle attributed to Romanelli since 1747 (Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome); Jaeckel sale, Kende, New York, 3 March 1951, lot 17 as studio of Romanelli and described as with a grey robe and sapphire blue mantle; Christie's, South Kensington, 4 August 1987, lot 1 as 'A Sibyl, after Guido Reni'.

Although the dating of the work to the seventeenth century is considered secure, significant overpainting makes an attribution very difficult.

Listed in Andrews, G., Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum Service: Fine Art Collection: Checklist Catalogue, 1979, cat. no. 252, as British School, eighteenth century.

Rights Owner Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museums
Author Dr Anne L. Cowe



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