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In April 1624, van Dyck sailed from Genoa to Sicily. In the summer of that year Palermo was swept by the plague, and on 14 July in a cave on Monte Pellegrino, above the city, fragments of a skeleton were discovered which were identified as the remains of Saint Rosalie. She had lived as a recluse on Monte Pellegrino, where she had been guided by two angels, in the mid-twelfth century until her death in about 1160. The discovery of her remains at the height of the plague in July 1624 was seen as God’s intervention; they were translated to Palermo Cathedral and the saint’s protection was invoked by the hard-pressed population of the city.

English Heritage, The Wellington Collection, Apsley House



Saint Rosalie Crowned with Roses by Two Angels




oil on canvas


H 117.2 x W 88 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

management transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum to English Heritage, 2004

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