Collection: St. Rosalia Interceding for Plague-stricken of Palermo

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Anthony Van Dyck – c. 1624

Van Dyck was in Palermo, Sicily, when a plague broke out and the city was quarantined. On July 15, 1624, the remains of Saint Rosalia—the city’s patroness, who died about 1160—were opportunely discovered on Mount Pellegrino, which is visible here above the harbor of Palermo. Images of Saint Rosalia were in great demand; this one was painted by Van Dyck on top of a striking self-portrait that he had sketched on the canvas. The artist employed a design he had used earlier for paintings of the Assumption of the Virgin.

Her feast day is September 4.