Skip to main content
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Italian, North
/

This painting was once a portrait, but it was altered to represent a saint. The hair of the figure was originally completely different, her hand was resting on a different object and her dress was decorated with gold around the edges. Later, after the dress and background had been completed, she was given loose hair, as well and a spiked wheel and martyr’s palm which identify her as Saint Catherine of Alexandria. After varnishing, the gold decoration on the dress and hair was painted over and a veil was added. These changes were probably carried out at a relatively early date.

The sitter may have asked for the portrait to be changed because she wished to be identified with her name saint or patron saint by adopting her attributes, or the artist might simply have decided to recycle a rejected or neglected work.

Key facts
Artist Italian, North
Full title Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Date made about 1508-10
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 45.1 x 38.7 cm
Acquisition credit Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number NG3118
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings 1250-1600
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo