St Cecilia

WAG 306


The patron saint of music, Saint Cecilia, is shown playing an organ. She is accompanied by an angel holding a rosary. The two figures are praying, mesmerised by the power of music. The painting was described by the artist in a letter to George Holt’s widow: ‘St Cecilia is generally represented looking up to convey the impression that her music is more of heaven than of earth. I have made her looking down. I have done so because I think earth’s sweetest music is not an echo of heaven’s music at all but something quite different, with a sweetness all of its own’. The painting was commissioned by George Holt in 1895.