Day: April 1, 2016

Aspe in St. Cecilia

The power of art and place: St. Cecilia in Trastevere

We were directed to the Basilica of St. Cecilia in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome by two of the more accomplished artists in residence at the American Academy.  When we were talking about the power of place in art, they mentioned having visited this basilica and spoke of its impact.  Candice and I decided to see it for ourselves. Parts of the basilica date from 822, when an earlier church constructed over the ruins of the home of Cecilia, the young Roman woman who was martyred for her faith, was rebuilt. The outside – with a 12th century tower and 1725 facade – do not prepare you for the work inside. Cecilia’s story has to be told to understand the power of this place.  From the website Sacred Destinations: “Cecilia is one of the most popular of Roman saints. She lived in the 3rd century and the first legend of her life was written in the 6th century. A noblewoman from a senatorial family, Cecilia took a personal vow of virginity and pledged her life …