The Geometry of Love
: The Images
Part 9
Virgin Martyrs
Saint Agnes being led to the brothel. Bas-relief on a design by Algardi, in Sant'Agnese in Agone, Piazza Navona. "Beneath the altar lies the body of Agnes; her soul is depicted in the apse mosaic above, already with God. She stands tall and regal, an adult rather than a child." (pp. 96-104) Emerentiana, by Eugenio Cisterna (1890s) in the Emerentiana Chapel in Sant'Agnese's church. (pp. 158-162). Emerentiana carries a martyr's palm, and a stone; her attribute. She is flanked by virginal white lilies.
"It is probable that many, even most, early Christian virgins executed for their faith were, in fact, first raped. One of the most shocking incidents in the story of Agnes canot be dismissed as a lurid invention: Christian women are known to have been punished by being forced into brothels." (p.252)
The stoning of Emerentiana: Saint Agnes' milk sister.
As she was led naked to the brothel, legend had it that Saint Agnes' hair grew so long it covered her body. Saint Agnes in dividing flames. Saint Agnese in Agone. Statue by Ercole Ferrata (17th Century).

photo album