Virgin and Child with Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Artist: Anthony van Dyck (Flemish, Antwerp 1599–1641 London)

Date: ca. 1630

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 43 x 35 3/4 in. (109.2 x 90.8 cm); with added strips 44 1/8 x 37 in. (112.1 x 94 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959

Accession Number: 60.71.5


The infant Jesus responds with playful enthusiasm to an adoring Saint Catherine, a former princess identified by pearls and a martyr’s palm. She was esteemed as an intercessor for young women because of her mystical marriage to Christ. The picture’s warm humanity and elegantly rhythmic composition reflect Van Dyck’s great admiration for Titian, Veronese, and other North Italian artists during his years in Italy (1621–27).