(b. ca. 1475, Bologna, d. 1552, Bologna)

Legend of Sts Cecilia and Valerian, Scene 5

Oratory of St Cecilia, San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

Scene 5 of the Cecilia cycle in the Oratory of St Cecilia, painted by Amico Aspertini, depicts the martyrdom of Valerian and his brother Tiburtius. The prefect Turcius Almachius summons them for questioning, in the course of which they confess their new Christian faith. In the foreground the prefect and his retainers have gathered at the foot of a tall column supporting a statue of Jupiter somewhere outside of Rome. The brothers, dressed in white and crowned with flowers, refuse to offer incense to the god and are accordingly beheaded.