How and why did a medieval female saint from the Eastern Mediterranean come to be such a powerful symbol in early modern Rome? This study provides an overview of the development of the cult of Catherine of Alexandria in Renaissance Rome, exploring in particular how a saint's cult could be variously imaged and 'reinvented' to suit different eras and patronal interests. Cynthia Stollhans traces the evolution of the saint's imagery through the lens of patrons and their interests-with special focus on the importance of Catherine's image in the fashioning of her Roman identity-to show how her imagery served the religious, political, and/or social agendas of individual patrons and religious orders.
Cynthia Stollhans is Associate Professor of Art History at Saint Louis University, USA.
Contents: Introduction; From east to west: St Catherine of Alexandria arrives in Rome; The 'Romanization' of St Catherine and the cardinal from Milan; St Catherine and the papacy; Sacred and gendered unions: Catherine of Alexandria and hermit saints; The problem of two saints named Catherine in the Fetti chapel; In the service of family dynasties: the Theodoli and Cesi; Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.