Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Artist: Pietro Lorenzetti (Italian, active Siena 1320–44)

Date: shortly after 1342

Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: Overall 26 x 16 1/4 in. (66 x 41.3 cm); painted surface 24 1/2 x 16 1/4 in. (62.2 x 41.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1913

Accession Number: 13.212

Description

Martyred for her attempt to convert the fourth-century pagan emperor Maximinus Daia, Saint Catherine of Alexandria is identified by her crown and regal attire. The panel belonged to an elaborate, two tiered altarpiece (for which, see metmuseum.org/collections). The figure combines the bulk and three-dimensionality of a work by Giotto or the sculptor Giovanni Pisano with the decorative brilliance for which Sienese painting is famous. The inscription at the top indicates that it was surmounted by a figure of Saint John the Evangelist.

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