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Matyrdom of St Catherine
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16th Century
Born 1549 Italy, Died 1592
Matyrdom of St Catherine
[Martirio di Santa Caterina]
Oil on canvas
160 x 130 cm  [HxW]
Museo Civico, Bassano

Bassano was a leading 16th century Venetian Mannerist and this was painted in his youth. When Catherine remained true to her faith and refused the advances of a Roman Emperor in Alexandria, she was bound to a wheel with spikes. This works depicts the confusion of the moment when a thunderbolt destroyed the wheel, and an angel appears, bathed in a supernatural light. The controlled composition of the powerful twisted torsos is painted in luminescent, carefully delineated colours.

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