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Alessandro Capalti (1810-68)

St Catherine Signed and dated 1860

Oil on canvas | 71.0 x 50.0 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 403742

Pages' Alcove, Osborne House

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  • St Catherine, full-length, stands on a brightly coloured rug before a Renaissance throne on a marble haut pas. She wears a blue robe and a gold-edged red cloak. Against her right side she holds a book, an item that she is frequently depicted with in reference to her noted learning; the tome is inscribed with the Latin phrase: ‘Ego me Christo sponsam tradidi’, or ‘I have offered myself as a bride to Christ'. She holds a sword in her left hand, presumably recalling her martyrdom through beheading. To her right is the spiked wheel that was to be her instrument of torture before it was destroyed by a divine thunderbolt. Alessandro Capalti (1810-68) operated primarily in Rome where he became a pupil of Tomasco Minardi (1787-1871) at the Academy of St Luke. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London between 1851 and 1858. Primarily a painter of historical subjects and portraits, Capalti produced likenesses of Gwendoline Talbot, Princess Borghesse, his former tutor Minardi and the tragedienne Adelaide Ristori.

    Purchased by Queen Victoria, 1861; first recorded at Osborne House, 1873

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas


    71.0 x 50.0 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external)

    102.9 x 81.8 x 7.0 cm (frame, external)

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    Object type(s)