January 26 celebrates the operatic soprano, biographer and Cyprian Saint Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, who passed beyond the Diamond Gate on this day in 1860. It is called the Feast of St. Pauline because of the title of her erotic memoirs, Pauline the Prima Donna, a sacred text of Cyprianism.
She was a favorite of Richard Wagner who cast Her in several roles, including having Her be the first to play Venus in his Tannhäuser. Cyprian tradition speaks of an erotic photograph of Her which might have been the inspiration for John Collier’s Venusberg. The original Daguerreotype was much more explicit than Collier’s masterpiece. Incidentally, Collier claimed that the necklace on the Venus in his painting was a “lily among flowers”, which Cyprians know to be a reference to the Seal of Paphia.