The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine

The scene depicts Saint Catherine on the left before the seated Virgin Mary and Christ Child in an enclosed garden or 'hortus conclusus', symbolising virginity. In the left background stands Saint Joseph, and the woman in the right foreground is probably Mary Magdalen. The picture depicts Saint Catherine exchanging rings with the Christ child and refers to her symbolic vision of union with Christ.

The picture is connected stylistically with a group of works (now mainly in the Lisbon Museum) attributed to Frei Carlos. This artist is believed to have been active at the Convento de Espinheiro in Evora, where he is documented in 1517.

Key facts

Full title
The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
Date made
early 16th century
Medium and support
Oil on wood
33 x 25.7 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1945
Inventory number
Location in Gallery