Sep 17, 2019
Sep 17, 2019

Holy Family with the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine

Holy Family with the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine

c. 1560

Oil on panel

Image: 148 x 103 cm (58 1/4 x 40 9/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2019.168


The marriage shown in this painting is called “mystic” because it was a purely symbolic. The infant Jesus places a ring on the finger of Catherine of Alexandria, a fourth-century saint who had a vision of dedicating herself to God and remaining a virgin instead of marrying. Note the otherworldly quality of the women and children’s elegant faces, compared to the naturalism of elderly Saint Joseph, who may be a likeness of someone the artist knew.

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