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


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 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.