2.36 St Catherine
late 15th / early 16th c.
Wood, egg tempera, 41 x 29 cm
St Catherine is portrayed, in accordance with her iconography, as a princess, wearing an ornate dark green tunic with gold floral decoration and a gem-studded belt and edging. Over the tunic she wears a red cloak, with gold floral decoration, gemmed edging, and large ornamental patches of appliquι work on the shoulders. Her left hand holds a gemmed cross, her right is raised, palm out, before her breast, in the gesture of a martyr. Her hair is confined in a snood and on her head she wears a five-pointed crown richly ornamented with gemmed crosses and pearls. Each of her long earrings consists of three spindle-shaped stems set with pearls.
The saint's iconographical type, with the elaborate royal attire, is based on Palaeologan models (Papazotos 1995, nos. 23, 29). However, the flat modelling of the face, dominated by olive-green shading and rosy flesh, the few, discreet highlights, and the serene expression are features seen in works produced by Macedonian workshops in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century (Papazotos 1995, no. 128).