Carlo Dolci (1616-1686)

Artist Name Carlo Dolci (1616-1686)
Title Portrait of St Catherine of Alexandria Holding a Dove
Description This superb Venetian Old Master religious portrait oil painting is attributed to the circle of Carlo Dolci. Painted circa 1680, it is a half length portrait of Saint Catherine of Alexandria holding a dove. (see below for details of Saint Catherine). Whilst imprisoned by emperor Maxentius, Catherine was fed daily by a dove from heaven, hence her depiction with a dove here. This is a stunning Old Master religious work of art depicting a key saint in the Christian world. The brush work and vibrant colours make the whole painting glow.

Catherine of Alexandria, is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar who became a Christian around the age of 14, converted hundreds of people to Christianity and was martyred around the age of 18. More than 1,100 years after Catherine's martyrdom, Joan of Arc identified her as one of the saints who appeared to and counselled her. During her confinement and torture, angels tended her wounds with salve. Catherine was fed daily by a dove from Heaven and Christ also visited her, encouraging her to fight bravely, and promised her the crown of everlasting glory.
Provenance London estate.
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 22 x 28 inches
Frame Housed in an original period Carlo Moretti frame. Framed size is 33 inches by 27 inches and in good condition.
Condition Good condition.
Biography Carlo (or Carlino) Dolci (25 May 1616 – 17 January 1686) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Florence, known for highly finished religious pictures, often repeated in many versions. He was born in Florence, on his mother's side the grandson of a painter. Although he was precocious and apprenticed at a young age to Jacopo Vignali, Dolci was not prolific. "He would take weeks over a single foot", according to his biographer Baldinucci. His painstaking technique made him unsuited for large-scale fresco painting. He painted chiefly sacred subjects, and his works are generally small in scale, although he made a few life-size pictures. He often repeated the same composition in several versions, and his daughter, Agnese Dolci, also made excellent copies of his works. Dolci was known for his piety. It is said that every year during Passion Week he painted a half-figure of the Savior wearing the Crown of Thorns. In 1682, when he saw Giordano, nicknamed "fa presto" (quick worker), paint more in five hours than he could have completed in months, he fell into a depression. Dolci's daughter, Agnese (died circa 1680), was also a painter. Dolci died in Florence in 1686.
Price £12000
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