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Saint Catherine Confronting the Emperor
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Saint Catherine Confronting the Emperor

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Catherine of Alexandria was one of the most popular saints in medieval western Europe. Legend describes her as a wise and beautiful virgin of noble birth who was executed for being a Christian. This image and its two associated panels (Walters 37.2486 and 37.2487) show Catherine confronting the Roman emperor, converting the learned pagans who were supposed to disprove her Christian beliefs, and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, confounding a second group of scholars sent to visit her in prison. The panels were once part of an altarpiece recounting the entire story of Catherine's martyrdom.
  • Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1988.
  • Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art from the Walters Art Museum. Museum of Biblical Art, New York; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
Provenance Leopold Blumka, New York, prior to 1943, by purchase; Dr. R. Walter Graham, Jr., Baltimore, 1971, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1972, by gift.
Credit Gift of Dr. R. Walter Graham, Jr., 1972

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ca. 1480 (Late Medieval)
oil on panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
8 11/16 x 6 in. (22 x 15.2 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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