This painting is part of the group: S. Niccolò Altarpiece, Padua

This section of an altarpiece showing Saint Catherine is probably a comparatively early work by Schiavone. It is thought to come from S. Niccolò, Padua.

The story of Catherine of Alexandria is found in the 'Golden Legend'. She was supposed to have been a Christian convert of noble birth who, in a vision, was married to the Infant Christ, as in Parmigianino's painting of The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine in the Collection.

The Roman emperor Maxentius sent 50 philosophers to persuade her to abandon her faith, but she, by her argument, converted them to Christianity.

She was tortured by being bound to four wheels with spikes in them. These were destroyed by a miraculous thunderbolt, but she was eventually beheaded. A wheel, as her attribute, is usually included in paintings of her and she is often shown wearing a crown in reference to her noble birth.

Her cult began in the 9th century on Mount Sinai, where her body was supposed to have been transported by angels.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1436/7 - 1504
Full title
Saint Catherine
Group
Date made
probably 1456-61
Medium and support
Tempera on wood
Dimensions
30.5 x 23 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1860
Inventory number
NG630.8
Location in Gallery

Other paintings in the group: S. Niccolò Altarpiece, Padua

Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably about 1456-61
Giovanni da Milano: 'Christ of the Apocalypse: Central Pinnacle Panel'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably about 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Bernardino'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Anthony of Padua'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Peter Martyr'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint John the Baptist'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'The Pietà'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Jerome'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Sebastian'
Painting
Giorgio Schiavone
probably about 1456-61
Giorgio Schiavone: 'A Female Saint'