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Maker(s):Unknown
Culture:French?
Title:Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Date Made:late 14th to early 15th century
Type:Sculpture
Materials:cast stone
Place Made:France
Measurements:29 1/2 x 10 x 7 1/2 in.; 74.93 x 25.4 x 19.05 cm
Narrative Inscription:  unsigned, undated
Accession Number:  SC 1974.28.1
Credit Line:Gift of Mrs. Ronald C. Lee (Louise Day Putnam, class of 1909)
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art
1974_28_1_a.jpg

Currently on view

Description:
standing robed woman with coronet on head and book in hands; religion - Christian; woman; reading/reading material

Label Text:
Saint Catherine of Alexandria (died c.310) stands in a pensive pose holding a book, symbol of her famed scientific knowledge. Below are her traditional attributes of a wheel, upon which she was tortured, and a sword, by which she was finally beheaded. The man at her feet represents one of the pagans with whom Catherine was believed to have debated religion during the persecutions of the Roman Emperor Maxentius, in the early 4th century.

The sculpture is made our of cast stone composed of ground limestone, quartz, and lime slag (a glass-like residue). This material, when liquid, was poured into a prepared mold to create the figure. The technique, not uncommon in the 15th century, made it easier and more inexpensive to produce large numbers of sculptures for churches and municipal buildings.

Tags:
women; religion; Christianity; literature

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=SC+1974.28.1

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

4 Related Media Items

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