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The naked child, wrapped in a white cloth, places a ring on Saint Catherine’s finger. Traditionally known as the mystic marriage of Saint Catherine, this was a way of visualising her spiritual union with Christ. Behind Saint Barbara is her symbol: the tower in which she was imprisoned.
This is one of the rare surviving examples of a Renaissance painting done on cloth rather than wooden panel; although many such paintings were made, they were extremely fragile.
probably about 1515-25
Glue on linen
H 92.7 x W 110 cm
Presented by Charles Bridger Orme Clarke, 1922