Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint Catherine of Alexandria

early 15th century
Gold, ronde-basse enamel, jewels
Overall (without wooden base): 3 7/8 x 2 1/8 x 1 1/8 in. (9.8 x 5.4 x 2.8 cm)
Overall (with wooden base): 4 13/16 x 2 3/16 x 1 in. (12.3 x 5.5 x 2.6 cm)
Base (wooden): 1 1/8 x 1 x 2 3/16 in. (2.9 x 2.6 x 5.5 cm)
Base (Marble): 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 x 2 15/16 in. (4.4 x 3.5 x 7.4 cm)
Enamels-Ronde Bosse
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
Saint Catherine, depicted in the delicately jeweled statuette, was seen to embody the power of Christian erudition. According to legend, Saint Catherine's learned arguments on behalf of Christianity converted not only the court philosophers of the pagan emperor Maxentius, but 200 guardian soldiers and the ruler's wife as well. In retribution, all were put to death. The virtuous saint is shown holding the spiked wheel upon which she was tortured before being decapitated. Though the statue is reputed to have come from a convent in Clermont-Ferrand, the fine workmanship, sensitive modeling, and precious gem-studded decoration are consistent with the finest works produced in Paris. The image may have come from a reliquary, where it and figures of other saints would have been integrated into an architectural ensemble.
#3175. Saint Catherine of Alexandria
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From convent in Clermont Ferrard (set in center of pax).; Convent in Clermont Ferrand ; Spanish Cardinal (unnamed) ; Contessa de Munter ; [ Dealer, London]; [ Dealer, Florence]; An unnamed connoisseur, Paris ; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (until 1917)
Paris. Musée du Louvre. "L'art parisien sous Charles VI," March 22, 2004–July 12, 2004.

Williamson, George Charles. Catalogue of the Collections of Jewels and Precious Works of Art: The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan. Deluxe ed. London: Chiswick Press, 1910. no. 84, pp. 127–28, pl. LXIV, color pl. 32.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. pp. 127-28, fig. 72.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. pp. 127-28, fig. 72.

Kohlhaussen, Heinrich. "Gotisches Kunstgewerbe." In Geschichte des Kunstgewerbes aller Zeiten und Völker, edited by Helmuth Theodor Bossert. Vol. 5. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1932. p. 387.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mediaeval Jewelry: A Picture Book. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. pl. 20.

Müller, Theodor, and Erich Steingräber. "Die französische Goldemailplastik um 1400." Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst, 3rd ser., 5 (1954). no. 9, pp. 45, 71, fig. 23.

Middeldorf, Ulrich. "On the Origins of 'Email sur Ronde-Bosse'." Gazettes des Beaux-Arts, 6th ser., 55 (April 1960). p. 233.

Alcouffe, Daniel, Bertrand Jestaz, and Colombe Verlet, ed. Dix Siècles de Joaillerie française. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 1962. no. 30, pp. 47, 50.

Hoving, Thomas. "The Thread of Patronage: The Medieval Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters." Apollo 82, no. 43 (September 1965). fig. 9, ill. p. 180.

Young, Bonnie. "A Jewel of St. Catherine." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 24, no. 10 (June 1966). pp. 318-321, fig. 4, 5, 8.

Wixom, William D. "An Enthroned Madonna with the Writing Christ Child." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 57, no. 9 (December 1970). p. 297, fig. 27.

Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 61, p. 224.

Gómez-Moreno, Carmen. "Gold." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 31, no. 2 (1972–1973). p. 104.

Baron, Françoise, ed. Les fastes du Gothique: Le siècle de Charles V. Paris: Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 1981. no. 219, p. 268.

Howard, Kathleen, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 41, p. 354.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 120, p. 139.

Ainaud i Escudero, Joan-Francesc. "Dos portapaus de cap al 1400: el de Pere d'Urgell i el de Violant de Bar." Butlletí del Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya 2 (1994). pp. 139–42, fig. 7.

Howard, Kathleen, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 42, p. 388.

Calderoni Masetti, Anna Rosa. "Modelli di oreficeria franco-borgognona alla Corte di Ferrara." In Medioevo: i modelli; Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Parma, 27 settembre–1 ottobre 1999, edited by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle. Convegni di Parma, Vol. 2. Milan: Electa, 2002. p. 654, fig. 11.

Taburet-Delahaye, Elisabeth, ed. Paris 1400: Les Arts sous Charles VI. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2004. no. 96, p. 177.

Husband, Timothy B. The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry. New York ; New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008. p. 22, fig. 21.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 197.

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