Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Pietro Lorenzetti Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 640

Resilient wood panels share many properties with metal supports and can be worked and tooled with some of the same techniques used to create decorative objects. In 1300s Italy carpenters prepared panels and delivered them to the artist’s workshop with their framing elements attached. At the studio, artists applied a smooth layer of gesso before gilding and painting the wood. This panel has both gold- and silver-leaf surfaces further decorated with punchwork and tooling that would shimmer against the reflected candlelight of a church interior. It was once part of a larger multipanel altarpiece with a Madonna and Child image at its core.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Pietro Lorenzetti (Italian, active Siena 1320–44), Tempera on wood, gold ground

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