FRANCIA, Francesco
(b. 1450, Bologna, d. 1517, Bologna)

Legend of Sts Cecilia and Valerian, Scene 7

Oratory of St Cecilia, San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

Scene 7 of the Cecilia cycle in the Oratory of St Cecilia, painted by an unidentified collaborator of Francesco Francia, shows Cecilia disputing with Almachius. By her arguments in this debate Cecilia managed to convert four hundred soldiers, all of whom were baptized by Pope Urban, but nothing of this is shown. In an idyllic landscape, the prefect sits on steps in front of a tall pediment supporting statues of two pagan gods, to whom Cecilia refuses to present an offering. This panel presents no further episodes from the legend, only a number of figures who respond to her arguments in various ways.

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