Saint Catherine Tended by Angels

Object Details

Title:

Saint Catherine Tended by Angels

Artist/Maker(s):

Spitz Master (French, active about 1415 - 1425)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1420

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 20.2 x 14.9 cm (7 15/16 x 5 7/8 in.)

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The miniature of Saint Catherine of Alexandria tended by angels opens the suffrage to the saint in this luxuriously illuminated book of hours. According to the legends describing her life, Emperor Maxentius had Catherine beaten and then imprisoned without food or water for twelve days because of her refusal to worship pagan idols. During this ordeal, angels comforted and fed her. The crowned woman who enters Catherine's chamber on the left is Maxentius' wife, who, upon seeing the ministering angels, converts to Christianity. In both composition and style, this miniature is related to one in the Belles Heures of the Duke of Berry, illuminated by the celebrated Limbourg brothers.

Key episodes of Catherine's life are shown within the border's colorful foliage.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Out-of-Bounds: Marginal Imagery in Illuminated Manuscripts (April 7, 1998 to July 5, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 7 to July 5, 1998
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
The Cult of Saints (April 25 to July 16, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), April 25 to July 16, 2006
Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai (November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 14, 2006 to March 4, 2007
Out of Bounds: Images in the Margins of Illuminated Manuscripts (September 1 to November 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 1 to November 8, 2009
Related Media
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    Audio: Saint Catherine