Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music, had her home, in the third century, where her church now stands in Trastevere. She was definitely a popular Roman saint. We saw her in paintings all over the place playing musical instruments. You name it, she was playing it.
The church was first built from 817-824 and has a beautiful Byzantine Mosaic in it's apse. Mostly, I wanted to go there because I'd seen photos in guidebooks of a marble statue of her. Her body was apparently found incorrupt in 1599 and seen by the artist who sculpted her body. It sounds morbid and strange and I guess in a way it is, but it is also a really beautiful piece of art and something more...
Sculptor Stefano Maderno's statement in inscribed on the marble below the statue ...
Behold the body of the most holy virgin Cecilia,
whom I myself saw lying incorrupt in the tomb.
I have in this marble expressed for you the same saint
in the very same posture.
It is difficult to explain but when you walk to the altar of this quiet, out of the way church and see her ... it is so graceful and quiet and peaceful.
This sculpture wasn't just another statue of a saint, it became an experience that somehow connected you to her and her story. It felt like she was there in the room with us and I felt like we were truly with her. It was so moving and heartbreaking. I will never forget it.
What art has moved you?
What art has been transcendent?