St. Cecilia with Four Saints, c. 1500-1520
Marcantonio Raimondi (after Raphael)
engraving on laid paper
26.2 x 15.9 cm trimmed within platemark
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15562)
Raimondi was the most prolific of the reproductive printmakers active in Rome in the early 16th century. His example of working closely with Raphael and making copies of his work for wide distribution inspired a thriving industry in Italy and established him as the leading disseminator of High Renaissance classicism. He was not so successful with other artists. In 1506, the German printmaker Albrecht Dürer sought protection from the Venetian Senate to prevent Raimondi from copying his popular "Life of the Virgin" series of woodcuts. This print reproduces a painting by Raphael made for the church of S. Giovanni in Monte, Bologna, though the two differ in many details suggesting the engraving was copied from a preparatory sketch. As evident by the musical instruments in her hands and at her feet, Cecilia is the patron saint of music.