Oct 26, 2016

Miniature from a Compendium of Saints' Lives: Saint Catherine of Alexandria Disputing with the Fifty Philosophers

Miniature from a Compendium of Saints' Lives: Saint Catherine of Alexandria Disputing with the Fifty Philosophers

c. 1200–1210

Tempera and gold on vellum

Overall: 16 x 10.5 cm (6 5/16 x 4 1/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1997.12

Location

Description

This miniature depicts an incident in the life of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, one of the early martyrs of the Christian Church, who was renowned for her learning. In AD 305, the Roman emperor Maxentius (the crowned figure seated at the left) attempted to compel Catherine (seated at the right) to renounce her faith by forcing her to engage in a disputation or debate with the fifty pagan philosophers of Alexandria (signified by their pointed hats). The clever Catherine, however, succeeded in converting the philosophers to Christianity. In a rage, Maxentius ordered her execution. This miniature probably came from a manuscript of saints' lives or possibly a martyrology. The subject of this miniature would have appealed in the scholastic climate of northeastern France. Its dating and place of origin are supported by its strong stylistic relationship to the famous Ingeborg Psalter of about 1200, now in the Musée Condé in Chantilly.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.