Artworks and Artists
St. Catherine of Alexandria

St. Catherine of Alexandria,
c. 1320-1325
, Simone Martini
egg tempera and gold leaf on wood, likely poplar
82.2 x 44.5 cm

Theme:

The Work The St. Catherine of Alexandria panel is thought to have originally been part of a polyptych in a church in Orvieto. Saint Catherine, a young Christian from an aristocratic family of the fourth century, was persecuted for her religious beliefs. The objects (or "attributes") that she holds or wears enable us to identify her. The brooch in the form of a wheel refers to the spiked wheel of torture, which broke apart at her touch. The pommel of the sword represents her death by beheading, and the palm leaf in her left band is a symbol of martyrdom.