Giuseppe Cades: The Martyrdom of the Blessed Signoretto Alliata (1794-1796)

(Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA)

A painting by the Italian artist Giuseppe Cades (1750-1799). Signoretto Alliata (1269-...) was a nobleman from Pisa who became a hermit later in life and was killed during a raid by pirates from North Africa or 'Saracens' (in the Middle Ages the term Saracens was used for all Muslims, regardless where they were coming from). Angels are flying above the saint are give him the crown of martyrdom. Signoretto Alliata is not a saint but is beatified (beatification is the first step toward canonization). This painting was a preparatory version for a larger painting in for the cathedral of Pisa by Count Tommaso Alliata Campiglia, who wanted to honor his holy ancestor. Painting from 1794-1796.