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Bernardino Luini was probably the most famous Milanese painter of the early 16th century and was heavily influenced by Leonardo Da Vinci, who was in Milan from 1482-1499. A number of his paintings, including Christ among the Doctors (National Gallery, c.1515-30), derive from original Leonardo compositions. In his panel paintings, Luini adopted Leonardo's use of chiaroscuro and his facial types, particularly the characteristically elongated eyes of his figures. The present painting is based on an original composition of this subject by Luini, the autograph version of which is in the Statens Museum, Copenhagen (Museum ref: KMSsp37). The skilful use of chiaroscuro and Fine rendering of the facial features suggest that this example is by a 16th century follower of Luini, from the Lombard School in Milan.
According to Christian hagiography, Saint Catherine was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan Roman emperor, Maxentius. As well as a princess and scholar, she became a Christian in her teenage years and converted many of the inhabitants of Alexandria in Egypt. In this painting Catherine is shown half-length with a serene and hopeful expression, her blushing cheeks symbolizing her virginity.
|Height||58.00 cm||(22.83 inches)|
|Width||49.00 cm||(19.29 inches)|
|External Height||75.00 cm||(29.53 inches)|
|External Width||64.00 cm||(25.20 inches)|