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Saint Catherine

Attributed To Francesco Zaganelli (Italian, ca. 1470–1531)
Title Saint Catherine
Date Ca. 1500
Medium Oil on panel
Dimensions Overall: 8 1/2 x 11 1/4 in. (21.6 x 28.6 cm)
Framed: 14 7/8 × 12 1/16 × 1 1/2 in. (37.8 × 30.6 × 3.8 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Nicholas Aquavella, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 77.43

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About this Work

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a Christian princess believed to have been martyred in fourth-century Egypt, rests her hand on her attribute, an execution wheel. A cut on the right side of her neck, later painted over by a restorer, referred to her beheading after the wheel shattered at her touch. Francesco Zaganelli’s medium reflects a transition in Italian art around 1500 in which artists began abandoning egg tempera for oil paint. Introduced into Italy by northern European artists, oil media allowed for a slower, more deliberate technique and created more luminous effects.

1977, Gift of Nicholas Acquavella to the Indiana University Art Museum

?–1977, with Nicholas Acquavella Galleries, New York

5 November 1942, Sale, “Private Collection of a Czechoslovakian Gentleman,” Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York (lot. no. 38, illustrated; attributed to School of Giulio Cesare Grandi) [1]

?–1942, Private Collection, possibly Canada or Czechoslovakia

1918–?, Collection of Frederick Rozendaal, Berlin (purchased from Cassirer Galleries) [2]

June 6, 1918, Sale, “Die Sammlung Eugen Schweitzer,” Paul Cassirer Galleries, Berlin (lot no. 33, attributed to Grandi or School of Giulio Cesare Grandi)

1911–1918, Schweitzer Estate (c/o Cassirer Galleries?), Berlin?

?–1911, Collection of Eugen Schweitzer (b. Breslau, 1845–d. Berlin, 1911), Berlin


[1] The origins of this collection remain unclear. A Canadian customs stamp on the painting’s verso indicates that it passed through Montreal before arriving in New York, but it is not certain whether it belonged to a Czechoslovak citizen who was even residing in Canada.

[2] Confirmed in an email from Walter Feilchenfeldt AG on March 11, 2014. Rozendaal sold large parts of his collection in 1931 at auction, though not the Zaganelli painting. He either he kept the painting or sold it prior to 1931 (correspondence in curatorial files).

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Saint Catherine | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2024.