CAIRO, Francesco del
(b. 1607, Milano, d. 1665, Milano)

Martyrdom of St. Agnes

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Oil on canvas
Galleria Sabauda, Turin

St Agnes of Rome (291-304) is a virgin-martyr. She suffered martyrdom at the age of thirteen during the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian.

Agnes was buried beside the Via Nomentana in Rome. Her bones are currently conserved beneath the high altar in the church of Sant'Angese fuori le mura in Rome, which was built over the catacomb that held her tomb. Her skull is preserved in the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone in Rome's Piazza Navona.