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Domenichino (Bologna 1581-Naples 1641)

Saint Agnes c.1620

RCIN 404982

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In 1605 the remains of the fourth-century martyr St Agnes were discovered in Rome. Domenichino shows the saint gazing heavenwards while an angel holds a crown and martyr’s palm above her. The large classical vase and relief sculpture signify the pagan beliefs she has rejected; the lamb (agnus in Latin) refers to her purity and name.