Saint Catherine of Alexandria
  • Attributed to Onorio Marinari (1627 - 1715)
  • Saint Catherine of Alexandria
  • Italy
  • Date: c. 1670
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 75.2 x 106.4 cm
  • Object size: 98.5 x 130 x 11.2 cm
  • Inv: P562
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Further Reading
  • Onorio Marinari was a Florentine painter who trained with Carlo Dolci, with whom his work is often confused. Saint Catherine of Alexandria was renowned for her learning and wisdom, and, after becoming Queen, converted to Christianity. Her beauty attracted the attention of the Emperor, who attempted to woo her and undermine her faith. When unsuccessful, he vowed to destroy her, firstly attempting to torture her on four spiked wheels and finally having her beheaded. Here the artist has chosen to represent Saint Catherine in private study, recalling her role as a patron of education and learning. The broken wheel, symbol of her impending martyrdom, is faintly visible in the background on the left.

    When in previous collections, the picture was consistently described as a work by Carlo Dolci (an artist much admired in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries), which helps to explain the high price of 27,000 francs (about £1,080) paid for it at the Pourtalès-Gorgier sale by the 4th Marquess of Hertford.