Saint Cecilia

Gustav Klimt, Vienna, 1885, glue tempera
The Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, Rijeka (vault))

Abundantly flowering branches are also present here as a motif over the monumental organ of St. Cecilia, depicted looking towards the heavens while a figure of an angel with a lute (genius of music) hovers above her accompanied by a choir of singing angels. The space in which the characters are placed is not entirely defined because the focus is on the symbolic content and spirituality of the main characters. The saint seems to deny the world from which a spectator approaches her with curiosity and ecstatically indulges in the spiritual sphere outside the painting. The lute player, shown right next to her, seems to whisper notes to her, thus breathing the universal spirit of music in her. The same model posed twice for the floating figure and as far as can be established to date, this was the first time for Klimt that, for the sake of anatomy research, the model first posed undressed and then covered with drapery. The stage is set in an ancient setting marked by the base of a monumental pillar in the background and the pipe organ resembling an ancient altar, as a reminiscence of the time during which this patroness of musicians and organists lived.