When my husband and I went to Rome in 2007, I had the great pleasure of spending the day surrounded by the art of the Vatican and the Basilica. The sculpture, tapestries, and paintings are just breathtaking (and yes, I did cry when I saw the Peita...blubbered might be a better word). I was walking through the Basilica when I heard the sound of wings flapping and doves cooing...I looked everywhere, but could not see them. I thought that a dove on one of these massive sculptures of the saints would be a great image. Whether the doves were really in the chapel, or it was just my imagination, this is the result. I hope you like it.
It is untitled at this point, but hopefully I will think of something soon.
"Untitled" Graphite 9"x11"
(Added 4-28-09)Additional information: I had no idea who this saint was when I photographed her sculpture, but I have since learned that she is St. Juliana (Guiliana) Falconieri (1270-1341). Born in 1270 she became the head of the Third Order of the Servites after her mother died. Her order served the poor and destitute and it was said that she never gazed upon the face of a man. She took great risks in her charitable works, even laying her mouth on the sores of the sick to heal them. These acts took a toll on her health and at the end of her life, she suffered great gastric distress and was no longer able to accept the sacraments. On her death bed, she asked that the Host be laid on her breast and she died. At the time of her burial, the mark of the cross that was on the Host was burned onto her chest. Her body is interred in a glass case in a church in Florence.
Her family was very wealthy and huge patrons of the arts. I did not know anything about her as I was painting her image, but it is interesting to know it now after memorizing her face after many hours of drawing.
This sculpture was done by the artist Pietro Paolo Campi in 1740. Gazing on this sculpture that was done so many years ago, is like a glimpse into the past of this woman's life.