Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Cristoforo Solari (Italian, ca. 1460–1524)
probably 1514–24
Italian, Milan
Overall (wt confimed): 47 7/16 in., 332 lb. (120.5 cm, 150.5942kg)
Credit Line:
Purchase, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Fund, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar de la Renta Gift, and Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation Inc. Gift, by exchange, 2012
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 504
The head of a Roman Empreror at Saint Catherine's feet symbolizes her defeat of paganism. Her relaxed pose and serene expression, combined with the broken wheel on which she was tortured, convey her acceptance of her Christian martyrdom. Her coiffure and clothing are suggestive of classical Greek statuary, and might allude to her life in the eastern Roman Empire. This work's profuse classical references demonstrate the mastery of the antique style for which Solari was renowned. Though probably carved in Milan, the figure may have been inspired by statues of the Virtues on Tullio Lombardo's Vendramin monument, just completed when Solari first visited Venice.

[Peter J. Bell, 2015]
Private Collection , Illinois ; Private Collection, London ; [ Sotheby's, London , until 2012; sold to MMA ]
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