Saint Catherine of Siena
PAINTINGS AND THEIR FRAMES
Lists of paintings in dowries and estate inventories often include descriptions, however brief, of their frames. In the colonial period, frames were often higher in value than their painted images, especially when made of silver or embellished with gold leaf. Paintings were even cut down to fit expensive frames or discarded altogether and replaced with mirrors.
The nearby large painting on copper of Saint Catherine of Siena was evidently so esteemed by its owner that a richly embossed silver frame was commissioned for it. The valuable silver frames for the two small, unrefined interpretations of the Annunciation and the Meeting of Joachim and Anna—adorned with embossed flowers, twisted Solomonic columns, putti (winged infants), scalloped shells, and mythological creatures—were probably worth more than the paintings.
LAS PINTURAS Y SUS MARCOS
Las listas de pinturas en dotes e inventarios de propiedad a menudo incluyen descripciones, aunque breves, de sus marcos. En el periodo colonial, los marcos solían ser más costosos que las imágenes pintadas que contenían, especialmente cuando estaban hechos de plata o adornados con hoja de oro. Las pinturas incluso se cortaban para hacerlas encajar dentro de marcos costosos o se desechaban del todo y se sustituían por espejos.
La gran pintura sobre cobre cercana que muestra a Santa Catalina de Siena evidentemente era tan estimada por su propietario que comisionó un lujoso marco de plata repujada para contenerla. Los valiosos marcos de plata de las dos pequeñas, y algo ingenuas, interpretaciones de La Anunciación y El Encuentro de Joaquín y Ana—adornadas con flores en relieve, columnas Salomónicas en espiral, putti (querubines o amorcillos), conchas onduladas y criaturas mitológicas—probablemente valían más que las pinturas mismas.
Painting: Oil on copper
Frame: Silver on wood core
- Possible place made: Italy
- Possible place made: Peru
17 3/4 x 15in. (45.1 x 38.1cm)
frame: 29 1/4 x 27 x 2 in. (74.3 x 68.6 x 5.1 cm) (show scale)
Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
This item is not on view
Unknown. Saint Catherine of Siena, 17th century. Painting: Oil on copper
Frame: Silver on wood core, 17 3/4 x 15in. (45.1 x 38.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 48.206.84 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 48.206.84_SL3.jpg)
overall, 48.206.84_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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What do the branch of lilies represent?
That is such a beautiful painting of St. Catherine
Lilies traditionally represent purity in Christian art of the Western world. In this work, lilies were a particular "attribute" of St. Catherine, something she was often depicted with.
She had a vision that St. Dominic (the founder of the Dominican order of nuns, which she belonged to) appeared to her, holding a lily that was on fire but never burned.