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Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance: The Emergence of a Musical Icon

Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance: The Emergence of a Musical Icon

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Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance: The Emergence of a Musical Icon

W037004 | $65.00

John A. Rice. University of Chicago Press, 2022.

320 pp. Moderately Illustrated (all col.). 26 x 19 cm. LC 2021-40662 In English. Hardcover.

ISBN 9780226817101

Until the fifteenth century, Saint Cecilia was not connected with music. She was perceived as one of many virgin martyrs, with no obvious musical skills or interests. During the next two centuries, however, she inspired many musical works written in her honor and a vast number of paintings that depicted her singing or playing an instrument. In this book, John A. Rice argues that Cecilia’s association with music came about in several stages, involving Christian liturgy, visual arts, and music. This association was fostered by interactions between artists, musicians, and their patrons and the transfer of visual and musical traditions from northern Europe to Italy. Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance explores the cult of the saint in Medieval times and through the sixteenth century when musicians’ guilds in the Low Countries and France first chose Cecilia as their patron. The book then turns to music and the explosion of polyphonic vocal works written in Cecilia’s honor by some of the most celebrated composers in Europe. Finally, the book examines the wealth of visual representations of Cecilia, especially during the Italian Renaissance, among which Raphael’s 1515 painting, The Ecstasy of Saint Cecilia, is but the most famous example. Thoroughly researched and beautifully illustrated in color, Saint Cecilia in the Renaissance is the definitive portrait of Saint Cecilia as a figure of musical and artistic inspiration.

Subject Headings: Eastern and Western European Art ; Western Art -- 1400-1600 -- Several Fine Arts Media (Western) --

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