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Saint Catherine of Alexandria
  • Date: c. 1502
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on poplar panel
  • Image size: P1, 152.2 x 77.8 cm
  • Image size: P1a, 41 x 84.9 cm, Lunette
  • Inv: P1-1a
  • Location: Sixteenth Century Gallery
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Further Reading
  • Queen Catherine of Alexandria was martyred in the fourth century for opposing the persecution of Christians. She is identified here by her crown and fragment of the spiked wheel on which she was tortured. She holds a palm, symbol of the Christian’s victory over death. Saint Catherine originally formed part of an altarpiece comissioned by the Scuola di San Rocco in Mestre near Venice. She was flanked by full-length figures of Saint Sebastian and Saint Roch, commonly invoked to protect against the plague. The surface is worn in several areas and it seems that the entire altarpiece suffered a particularly harsh restoration before being removed from the frame. The altarpiece was exhibited for sale in London in 1799, when it was described as the ‘chef d’oeuvre of Cima da Conegliano’.