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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  April 2016

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION April 2016

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Subject:

FEAST - A Saint for the Day (April 29): St. Catherine of Siena

From:

John Dillon <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:38:52 +0000

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

The mystic and visionary Catherine of Siena was born in 1347, the umpteenth daughter of a Sienese wool-dyer and his wife.  A professed virgin since childhood, she became a Dominican tertiary at the age of eighteen, living very ascetically and engaging in acts of charity to the sick and the poor.  In 1370 she received a series of visions that impelled her to enter public life.  Catherine then carried on a lengthy correspondence with pope Gregory XI, touching on many matters and urging church reform.  In 1375 Catherine received the Holy Stigmata.  In 1376 she was in Avignon and from 1378 until her death in 1380 she lived at Rome.

Catherine was buried in her order's Roman church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.  The subject of an immediately posthumous cult, she has a very impressive Vita (BHL 1702) by her confessor, Bl. Raymond of Capua, who as prior of the Dominican convent erected her first funerary monument in 1380.  The monument was modified in 1430; in 1466 Catherine was translated to her present resting place before the high altar.  Herewith some views of Catherine's tomb in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, with its sculpture of her from 1430 reposing on a sarcophagus added in 1461, the year of her canonization by her fellow Sienese, Pius II:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayflynn/2034595233/
http://tinyurl.com/26azt4r
http://tinyurl.com/2c5jcpl
http://tinyurl.com/2c5jcpl
A distance view:
http://tinyurl.com/gv69w2t

Since 1384 Siena's basilica di San Domenico (a.k.a. Basilica Cateriniana) has had Catherine's head:
http://tinyurl.com/hdg6sxd
http://www.vittoe.com/0205a/p5294692.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/zzabyy2
It also possesses one of her fingers:
http://tinyurl.com/hfxrsmg

Catherine was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.  Along with Francis of Assisi, she is a primary patron of Italy.  In 1999 she was proclaimed a patron saint of Europe.


Some period-pertinent images of St. Catherine of Siena:

a) as depicted by the Sienese artist Andrea Vanni in a late fourteenth-century fresco (ca. 1390) in the basilica di San Domenico in Siena:
http://images.alinari.it/img/480/CAL/CAL-F-002341-0000.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/jfk7tkf

b) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Cecilia) by Beato Angelico in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting (betw. 1420 and 1429) in The Courtauld Gallery, London:
http://static.artuk.org/w944h944/NGS/NGS_NGS_NG_1030.jpg 

c) as depicted (with a donor before the BVM and Christ Child) in an earlier fifteenth-century panel painting from Lombardy (ca. 1440) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York:
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459040 

d) as depicted (receiving the stigmata) by Henri d'Orquevaulz in an earlier fifteenth-century book of hours for the Use of Metz (ca. 1440; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 10533, fol. 134v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10318624f/f274.item

e) as depicted by the Sienese artist Sano di Pietro in a mid-fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1442) in the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht:
http://tinyurl.com/gwp32xf

f) as depicted in a later fifteenth-century fresco in the (ex-) chiesa di San Pietro in Carpignano Sesia (NO) in Piedmont:
http://tinyurl.com/5792wp

g) as depicted (receiving the stigmata) in a later fifteenth-century copy of her Vita by Bl. Raymond of Capua (Carpentras, Bibliothèque municipale Inguimbertine, ms. 472, fol. 2v):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht4/IRHT_074283-p.jpg

h) as depicted by the Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo in a later fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1462) in Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum:
http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/231676

i) as depicted (scenes from her Vita) by the Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo in a series of later fifteenth-century predella paintings (ca. 1462-1470) now in several different museums:
a) receiving the Dominican habit (Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art):
http://tinyurl.com/zzyou2w
b) clothing Christ disguised as a beggar (Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art):
http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1966.3
c) exchanging her heart with that of Jesus (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art):
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ep/original/DT508.jpg
d) her mystic marriage (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art):
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ep/original/DT507.jpg
e) her miraculous communion (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art):
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/hb/hb_32.100.95.jpg
f) receiving the stigmata (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art):
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/rl/original/DP366040.jpg
g) beseeching Christ to resuscitate her mother (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art):
http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/rl/original/DP366038.jpg
h) before the pope in Avignon (Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza):
http://www.wga.hu/art/g/giovanni/paolo/1/avignon.jpg

j) as depicted in a panel of a later fifteenth-century glass window (Bay 23; ca. 1470) in the église Notre-Dame in Carentan (Manche):
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Carenton/w23-c2.htm
The window as a whole:
http://www.mesvitrauxfavoris.fr/index_htm_files/351134.jpg
http://therosewindow.com/pilot/Carenton/w23-Frame.htm

k) as depicted (at far right) in a late fifteenth-century predella panel painting of Dominican saints in the Musée Unterlinden in Colmar:
http://www.musee-unterlinden.com/assets/images/_nouveau_mecenat/DSC_0024.JPG

l) as depicted (receiving the stigmata) in a late fifteenth-century book of hours for the Use of Autun (ca. 1480-1490; Autun, Bibliothèque d'Autun, ms. 269, fol. 170v):
http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/Wave/savimage/enlumine/irht7/IRHT_107589-p.jpg

m) as depicted (at left, flanking the BVM and Christ Child; at right, St. Sebastian) by the Sienese artist Matteo di Giovanni in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1480-1490) in the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, SC:
http://tinyurl.com/hd8pd5c

n) as depicted (at right; at left, St. Catherine of Alexandria; their mystical marriages) by Ambrogio Bergognone in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1490) in the National Gallery, London:
http://tinyurl.com/jswxygt

o) as depicted by Carlo Crivelli in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1490) in the Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon:
http://www.wga.hu/art/c/crivelli/carlo/candele3.jpg

p) as depicted (her mystic marriage) by Giovan Pietro Birago in the late fifteenth-century Sforza Hours (betw. ca.  1490 and 1494; London, BL, Add MS 34294, vol. 3, fol.  209v):
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_34294_f209v
Are those bunny pellets at lower left?

q) as depicted by Domenico Ghirlandaio and workshop in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (betw. 1490 and 1498; from his dismembered Tornabuoni altarpiece for Florence's basilica di Santa Maria Novella) in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich:
http://tinyurl.com/hd2urhj 

r) as portrayed by the Sienese painter and sculptor Neroccio di Bartolomeo de' Landi in a late fifteenth-century polychromed wooden statue (1494) in the oratorio di Santa Caterina in Siena:
http://tinyurl.com/dfumfs
Detail view:
http://www.thais.it/scultura/image/ALTE/SRIN_340.htm

s) as depicted (as spiritual guide of the second and third orders of Dominicans) by Cosimo Rosselli in a late fifteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1499-1500) in the National Galleries of Scotland:
http://static.artuk.org/w944h944/NGS/NGS_NGS_NG_1030.jpg

t) as depicted (surrounded by demons) in a  late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1500) in the National Museum in Warsaw:
http://tinyurl.com/hyyrwgv

u) as depicted in the early sixteenth-century Hours of Frederick of Aragon (i.e. Federigo d'Aragona, king of [mostly mainland] Sicily, etc.; betw. 1501 and 1504; Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 10532, fol. 368r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8427228j/f372.item.zoom

v) as depicted (upper register; her canonization by Pius II) by Pinturicchio in an early sixteenth-century fresco (betw. 1502 and 1507) in the Piccolomini Library in the cathedral of Siena:
http://tinyurl.com/jjlhsxl
Detail view:
http://tinyurl.com/hmy8zsv

w) as depicted (interceding with the devil on behalf of a dying sister) by the Sienese artist Girolamo di Benvenuto di Giovanni del Guasta in an early sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1505) in Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum:
http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/229488

x) as depicted (upper register at center, betw. Sts. Peter Martyr and Margaret of Hungary) by Juan de Borgoña in an early sixteenth-century panel painting (ca. 1515) in the Museo del Prado in Madrid:
http://imagencpd.aut.org/4DPict?file=20&rec=15.462&field=2

Best,
John Dillon
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