Saint Cecilia after Donatello Brass Plaque circa 1900


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THE STORY - I had no idea when I first saw this plaque whom the subject was, I just knew that I loved her, the gentle lowering of the woman's head those wonderful swirls of hair and the soft arc of her shoulder with the drape of her dress. Of course I did my usual research and found that she was indeed Saint Cecilia and was originally cast by Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi widely known as Donatello (1836-1466). Saint Cecilia is the Patron Saint of Musicians and Church Music apparently because as she was dying she sang to God. Donato I understand kept the original plaque or plaquette as they were known with him until his death it was then inherited by his apprentice Vercocchio and was studied by Leonardo da Vinci. And I think I am right in saying that the originally plaquette has been lost in time and was certainly not cast in brass. This plaque which is cast in brass does I believe to the date to the either the end of the Nineteenth or beginning of the Twentieth Century and you can see why the subject would of been appealing during this time of the Arts & Crafts Movement, she really could of been in a Pre Raphaelite painting and one can easily imagine this plaque being hung upon in a house during this time. There is a little shelf like attachment which has been cast on the back from which could attach a ring from which to hang this plaque.

DATE - Circa 1900

CONDITION - The plaque is in good condition considering it's age there is some wear to her which I would consider to be light to her hair just above the hairline and to the pattern on the shoulder of her dress. There are also a couple of marks on her neck just below her jawline best seen in the fifth photo. And there are traces of old polish sitting within the edge of the frame. And I do want to point out that the truest colour of the brass is in the lighter photos.

DIMENSIONS - Height 8&3/8" / 21.5cm, Width 6" / 15.5cm, Depth (excluding hanging attachment) 1/8" / 3mm.

I adore this plaque it is undeniably beautifully decorative but for me the image of Saint Cecilia through Donatello's eyes is so very beautiful and it is an image that seems to transcend through the ages, and will I suspect continue to do so. And it is no surprise to me that this plaque was cast during the Arts & Crafts Period, oh how I would of love to have seen the house it was originally hung, I have a very strong idea I would of loved it.

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