Shop Forum More Submit  Join Login
St. Catherine of Alexandria icon by Theophilia St. Catherine of Alexandria icon by Theophilia
St. Catherine of Alexandria icon
© Cecilia Lawrence
November 23rd 2015
4.5 x 6 inches
Ink, watercolor, gold leaf


“Let us praise the all-lauded and noble bride of Christ,
the godly Catherine, the guardian of Sinai and its defense,
who is also our support and succour and our help;
for with the Holy Spirit's power
she hath silenced brilliantly the clever among the godless;
and being crowned as a martyr, she now doth ask great mercy for us all.”

~ Greek usage (Tone Plagal 1)

“Thy lamb Catherine, O Jesus,
Calls out to thee in a loud voice:
I love thee, O my bridegroom,
And in seeking thee, I endure suffering.
In baptism I was crucified so that I might reign in thee,
And died so that I might live with thee.
Accept me as a pure sacrifice,
For I have offered myself in love.
By her prayers save our souls, since thou art merciful.”

~ Slavic usage (Tone 4)

I’ve finally gotten around to uploading this one! It’s been finished since November, but it takes me so long to write these descriptions (or rather, to get around to writing them) that I don’t upload them as quickly as they’re finished. St. Catherine of Alexandria is one of my personal favorite saints, and if I had to pick my confirmation saint over again I’d probably choose her. :D So in my depiction of St. Catherine of Alexandria, I’ve dressed her in the Late Roman style, based on contemporary and earlier historical examples, (especially the Fayum mummy portraits) in red, purple, and green, which are colors normally associated with her. Her distinctive attributes are the spiked wheel, a sword and a book. I have also added the traditional symbols of martyrdom and purity (the palm branch and the three lilies respectively). The ring on her finger also is a reference to her mystical marriage with Jesus Christ. I’m not too happy with the color combination though, I think it turned out too dark, and if I did it again I think I would have made her veil purple instead of red. Ah well.

:iconwhiterose1plz::iconwhiterose2plz::iconwhiterose3plz::iconrose1plz::iconwhiterose4plz::iconwhiterose5plz::iconwhiterose6plz:

:+: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE SAINT :+:

Saint Catherine of Alexandria (287 – November 25th 307 A.D.), is one of the most well-known virgin-martyrs of the Church. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt into a wealthy patrician family. Her parents were named Costus and Sabinella, and her father held a high post in the administration of the city. Catherine was an incredibly intelligent and gifted child, and from an early age delighted in learning of all sorts, especially in philosophy, literature, medicine, and languages. Nurtured in that city renowned for its great learning and wisdom, she quickly became accomplished in a variety of languages, mastered the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, and was well-versed in Greek literature and poetry. Scholars wondered at her piercing intellect and brilliant reasoning. In addition to her great learning, she was also incredibly beautiful, and this, coupled with her noble birth and wealth, made her the object of many proposals for marriage. However, Catherine rejected all of her suitors, and by the age of eighteen, she was still unmarried. Her father had since died, and her mother Sabinella anxiously urged her to choose a husband who would make a worthy match.

Catherine in turn was exasperated and replied: "Bring me a bridegroom who is as learned, as beautiful, as noble, as rich,—in short, is of equal rank with me, and I am ready to accept him for my husband." Her mother, who was a Christian, went to seek the advice of a Christian hermit and ascetic who lived outside the city. The ascetic listened to her story and gave her a small image of the Mother of God holding her Divine Son in her arms. He told Sabinella to give it to Catherine, and to pray for her daughter in the meantime. Later one evening, Catherine had a dream in which she saw a beautiful Empress appear among myriads of the Heavenly hosts along with an Emperor of indescribable beauty and majesty, power and wisdom. The Beautiful Lady said, pointing to her Son: “Would you choose this one to be your Bridegroom?” Catherine, marveling at his beauty and grace, replied: “Yes! Him do I choose and no other!” So the Beautiful Lady turned to her Son and asked Him, “Dear Son, will you take this beautiful maiden for your Bride? For see, not only is she beautiful, but she is of noble birth, is wealthy and possesses surpassing wisdom and learning.” But her Son frowned and said, “No, I will not take her as my bride, for she is ugly, poor, contemptible, and ignorant. Rather, remove her from my sight, for she is not a Christian. I am the Emperor of the Christians, and I will not take a pagan bride. But, if she wishes to have me for her spouse, let her be instructed and baptized, and I will espouse her to myself with the pledge of a ring, and make her truly wise, beautiful, pure, and noble.

Catherine awoke from the vision and wept piteously, vowing that she would marry no one else but the Emperor of the Christians. Her mother took her to the hermit outside the city, where she related to him the vision Catherine had seen. The ascetic then turned to Catherine and told her that the Emperor and the Empress were none other than the Lord Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, His Mother. Then he said, “If you desire to be the bride of this Heavenly Emperor, you must be baptized and become a Christian." Catherine eagerly assented, and she was instructed in the Christian Faith. The more she learned, the more she saw the truth of what the holy hermit was telling her, and she wholeheartedly professed the Christian religion. Afterwards, she was baptized by the same ascetic.

Sometime later, Catherine was praying in her room when she beheld another vision of the Heavenly Emperor and Empress escorted by the heavenly hosts of angels. Mary presented her Son to Catherine. Jesus was richly appareled, as for a wedding, and said: “Before she was poor, and now she is rich; before she was ignorant, and now she is truly wise; before she was proud, and now she is humble. She is now worthy and I accept her as my bride.”  And before the hosts of heaven, He took Catherine as His bride by placing a visible ring on her finger. He bade her to be faithful to Him, and promised her that He would reward her steadfast love. When the vision ceased, she saw the ring on her finger, and vowed to remain faithful to her Bridegroom.

In order to draw even closer to Jesus, she spent a great part of her time in reading, contemplation and prayer, by zealously studying the Sacred Scriptures and meditating on the words of the Gospels. She also would go and hold discussions with other Christians and debate with the pagan scholars of Alexandria. She grew quickly in her theological knowledge and even began teaching others about the Faith.

In 305, when Galerius became Augustus of the eastern Empire, he adopted his nephew Maximinus and appointed him Caesar, and gave him the government of the provinces of Syria and Egypt. The bishop of Caesarea, Eusebius, who was a contemporary of Catherine, wrote in his Church History that Maximinus was cruel tyrant who lived a dissolute and wicked lifestyle. He renewed the persecution of Christians in the areas under his control. Eusebius recounts that the Christians “endured fire and sword and crucifixion and wild beasts and the depths of the sea, and cutting off of limbs, and burnings, and pricking and digging out of eyes, and mutilations of the entire body, and besides these, hunger and mines and bonds. In all they showed patience in behalf of religion rather than transfer to idols the reverence due to God. Maximinus also had a reputation for lasciviousness, and only Christian women resisted him. In the same passage, Eusebius said, “Why need we relate the licentious, shameless deeds of the man, or enumerate the multitude with whom he committed adultery? For he could not pass through a city without continually corrupting women and ravishing virgins.” The bishop further related that “the women were not less manly than the men in behalf of the teaching of the Divine Word, as they endured conflicts with the men, and bore away equal prizes of virtue. And when they were dragged away for corrupt purposes, they surrendered their lives to death rather than their bodies to impurity.”

While Maximinus was in Alexandria, sacrificing to pagan idols and having Christians who refused brutally tortured, Catherine herself boldly approached the Caesar and rebuked him for his savage cruelty and wickedness. She also gave many good arguments for the Christian faith and reviled the pagan gods, using both secular philosophical arguments and theological reasoning. Maximinus was impressed by her beauty, courage and learning, and assented to her proposition that he invite a large number of pagan philosophers and orators to publicly debate with her. After the philosophers arrived in Alexandria, the public debate was held with Maximinus presiding over it. After many heated arguments and disputations about the nature of God, the truth of Christianity and the falsehood of paganism, Catherine had so thoroughly beaten them that they were silenced. Some even openly admitted to being convinced by her arguments and they in turn desired to become Christians. The Caesar, since the debate had not worked, tried to flatter her and also offered Catherine large gifts and made generous promises to her if only she would convert to paganism. Catherine stoutly refused. Maximinus was so enraged at this that he had the philosophers and Catherine arrested. The former he had burned to death, while he had Catherine scourged and then thrown into a dark dungeon for eleven days. During this time, Maximinus’ wife was so impressed by the brave girl’s spirited defense of Christianity that she and her guards went to visit the maiden in her prison cell. There, Catherine expounded to them the truths of Christianity and her steadfast courage in suffering so convinced them of the truth of her words that they too converted to Christianity. These latter ones were subsequently harshly punished, and Catherine herself was condemned to be tortured to death by being broken on the wheel.

When the maiden was led towards the instrument of torture, she touched it and the device was miraculously broken to pieces. Exasperated, Maximinus then ordered her to be put to the sword. She was led away and beheaded. Tradition relates that her body was later carried by angels to Mt. Sinai, where her body was rediscovered by a hermit living there. The Emperor Justinian had a monastery built on the site surrounding the Burning Bush sometime between 548 and 565 A.D. The Monastery was named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, and to this day St. Catherine’s Monastery holds the relics of St. Catherine (s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/7…), as well as preserves some of the oldest Christian manuscripts and art in the world.

St. Catherine of Alexandria remained a very popular saint, and became even more so after the Crusader conquests in the Holy Land allowed pilgrims to freely travel to holy sites that had been closed off for hundreds of years. She soon became one of the most popular saints in medieval Europe, with hundreds of churches, art, songs, and poetry being dedicated in her honor. Adam of Sainte-Victor wrote one long poem in Latin in her honor, called Vox Sonora nostri chori. She was revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and her feast day was celebrated with the greatest solemnity.

:iconrose5plz::iconrose6plz::iconrose7plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose-2plz::iconrose3plz::iconrose4plz:
"The Church everywhere flourishes through the glorious deeds of the holy martyrs. With our own eyes we can judge the truth of our song, that the death of his saints is precious in the sight of the Lord. It is precious in our sight and in the sight of the Lord as well, for in his name they died.

But the price of these deaths is the death of one man. See how many deaths he paid for by dying himself ! For if he had not died, would the grain of wheat have been multiplied? You have heard what he said on his way to his passion, which was our redemption: Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

On the cross he made the great exchange. There the purse which held our price was opened, for when the soldier's spear opened his side, the price of the whole world flowed forth. Thus he purchased the faithful and the martyrs. But the faith of the martyrs has been tested; their blood is the proof. They paid back the price Christ paid for them, thus fulfilling the words of Saint John: Just as Christ laid down his life for us, we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.

Elsewhere it is said: You are seated at a great table. Observe carefully all that is set before you, for you also must prepare such a banquet. The table is large, for the banquet is none other than the Lord of the table himself. No one has his guests feed upon himself, and yet this is precisely what Christ our Lord does; though host, he himself is both food and drink. The martyrs recognized the food and drink they were given, in order to make repayment in kind.

But how can they make repayment, unless he first spends his riches on them and gives them the means to repay? And what does the psalm we have sung recommend when it says: The death of the saints is precious in the sight of the Lord?

In this psalm man ponders the great things he has received from God, the great gifts of grace from the almighty: God created man, sought him when he was lost, pardoned him when he was found, supported him when he struggled in weakness, did not abandon him when he was in danger, crowned him in victory, and gave himself as the prize. Reflecting on all this man cries out, saying: What shall I give the Lord for all he has given me? I shall take up the cup of salvation.

What is this cup? It is the cup of suffering, bitter yet healthful: the cup which, if the physician did not first drink it, the sick man would fear to touch. Yes, it is the cup of suffering, and of it Christ is speaking when he says: Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me.

Of this cup the martyrs said: I shall take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. But are you not afraid you will weaken? No, they reply. And why? Because I shall call upon the name of the Lord. Do you think martyrs could have been victorious, unless he was victorious in the martyrs who said: Rejoice, for I have overcome the world? The Lord of the heavens directed their minds and tongues; through them he overcame the devil on earth and crowned them as martyrs in heaven. Blessed are those who have drunk of this cup! Their torments are at an end, and they have taken their place of honor. And so, my dear ones, consider: although you cannot see with your eyes, do so with your mind and soul, and see that the death of the saints is precious in the sight of the Lord."

~ from a sermon by St. Augustine of Hippo

:iconrose5plz::iconrose6plz::iconrose7plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose-2plz::iconrose3plz::iconrose4plz:

:rose: The Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria is celebrated on November 25th. :rose:

St. Catherine of Alexandria is the patron saint of philosophers, virgins, scholars, female students, apologists, and wheelwrights.

Almighty ever-living God,
who gave Saint Catherine of Alexandria to your people
as a Virgin and an invincible Martyr,
grant that through her intercession
we may be strengthened in faith and constancy
and spend ourselves without reserve
for the unity of the Church.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconjusthere4icons:
JustHere4Icons Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I really appreciate that St. Catherine (and St. Cecilia and St. Lucy as well) actually looks like she would have! I was looking at some other, more traditional icons, and they just did not, in my opinion look like the saints would have looked. So covered up and so much like nuns. THIS is beautiful. 
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aww, thank you! I really appreciate that! Historical accuracy is one of the things I strive to bring to all of my pieces. I think it's important that people see the saints as real people who really lived and who can therefore be emulated as models for how to live an exemplary life. :nod:
Reply
:iconlynneol:
Lynneol Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2018
Your work is stunning.  Do you sell your prints mounted on wood? 
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!!

I don't mount the icons myself (since I still haven't found a really good, professional way of doing it) but I can have it done professionally by a company called Legacy Icons who specialize in mounting religious icons to wood. That's a good deal more expensive though, but if you have a size in mind, I can give you an estimate for how much they'd cost. Their sizes are: Mini: 2x3; Small: 4x5; Medium: 6x7.5; Large: 8x10; X-Large: 11x14; XX-Large: 16x20.
Reply
:iconfiliasulis:
FiliaSulis Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018
My patron too! I feel  like she's not known about/ as popular as she should be these days..as a female student myself I have placed myself under her protection...and in England & France we say that as she is patron of unmarried girls, she'll find you a good husband too ;)

Is there any way I can have a copy of this icon to put on my desk? Happy to talk details..
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I sell prints of my work! You can find the sizes/prices and information for how to order here: October 13th and an Art Sale

Hahah, yeah, I've heard a couple variations of that:

"A husband, St. Catherine;
A handsome one, St. Catherine;
A rich one, St. Catherine;
A nice one, St. Catherine;
And soon, St. Catherine!"


Or:

The French say that before a girl reaches 25, she prays: “Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!” After 25, she prays: “Lord, one who’s bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!” And when she’s pushing 30: “Send whatever you want, Lord; I’ll take it!”
Reply
:iconcaterinasiena:
caterinasiena Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2017  Professional Interface Designer
My patron saint! Beautiful!
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :aww: Glad you like it! :glomp:
Reply
:iconbleakmidwinter:
bleakmidwinter Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017
your work truly glorifies God , thanks for sharing your gifts
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! God bless you! :hug:
Reply
:icondoveangel8:
DoveAngel8 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
lovely... one of my fave saints. a very good depiction.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! She's one of my favorites too! :aww:
Reply
:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Beauteous! :clap:
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanksies! :giggle:
Reply
:iconbohemianbeachcomber:
BohemianBeachcomber Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Yep! :)
Reply
:iconk-haderach:
K-Haderach Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2016
Magnificent! As you know, I always love your icons, and I had been hoping you would portray an Eastern saint for a while. And then you chose St. Catherine, whom I particularly love! Thank you! :)

It goes without saying that it's a very beautiful icon, and I also appreciate the very detailed and well-researched account of the life that you wrote. But most of all, I love the fact that you made her look like an actual person from the Southern Mediterranean, and gave her historically accurate clothing. That is a very nice touch! St. Catherine is all too often portrayed as looking Northern European, which bugs me. She was Egyptian. Her icons should reflect that. And, ideally, her clothing should reflect the fact that she lived in Late Antiquity (although this is less important, as saints are routinely portrayed wearing anachronistic clothing, and in any case clothing does not exist in Heaven).
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank YOU!!! :hug: She's certainly a wonderful saint, and a great favorite of mine! :aww:

I definitely agree. As far as possible, I think that the saints should be depicted accurately in keeping with what we know of how they might have looked (and often there's a lot of room for plausible conjecture). I do think clothing is particularly important to get right, simply because clothing is what really visually grounds people in a particular historical period. One thing I hope to convey through my icons is the fact that these are real men and women (not just semi-mythological and legendary make-believe characters) who really lived in the world we live in, and lived in a certain time and place in particular historical circumstances. The greatness of the saints is that they're universal and transcend their own particular historical circumstances and are our friends and intercessors in the here and now. But I think it's important that we're recalled to thinking of them as they might have looked when they were alive on earth so we don't abstract them out of reality and think of them as somehow distant or unreal. :nod:
Reply
:iconmatejcadil:
MatejCadil Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful as always. A great saint and you managed to portray her very very beautifully. :heart:
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!!!! She is indeed a very great saint! :D I think one of her titles is "Catherine the Great-Martyr" in fact. :nod:
Reply
:iconfaithballoonsandfish:
faithballoonsandfish Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Student
This was a gift to see today :) St. Catherine IS my Confirmation saint, and she's inspired me so much that I've added her name into mine. A while ago I was idly wishing that you would write an icon of hers, but figured she wasn't as well known as some other saints. Thanks so much, it made my day to see this as an update on watch :) 
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, that just makes me so happy to hear that. Thank you! I'm so glad it made your day! :iconilikeitplz:
Reply
:iconhoshinodestiny:
HoshiNoDestiny Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Dang your attention for detail is just so... great! I love all of your pieces and this one is so beautiful, I could stare at it forever! And I can't believe it's colored with watercolors, the colors are so bright and vivids!
I checked the time period the Saint lived in and... your work is so historically accurate! The clothes and accessories are perfect! Even the book's cover looks like an ancient evangelion like the ones I studied, with a golden frame, crosses and beads!
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANK YOU!!! I do try very hard to be as historically accurate as possible (or make plausible conjectures when the information is lacking) so I'm very flattered to hear you say that! Again, thank you!! :meow:
Reply
:iconhoshinodestiny:
HoshiNoDestiny Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
It's really a pleasure! I love seeing your works and you can always see the effort you put! Even in finding the most accurate details :D (I have a soft spot for history, so I really appreciate your work!)
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awww! :aww: Hah, well as you know, we share that common soft-spot for history. :D
Reply
:icondashinvaine:
dashinvaine Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016
Very nicely done. One of my favorite saints, although another case of a short-lived miracle...

Quite appropriate as earlier this week I went to an exhibition at the British Museum called 'Faith after the Pharaohs', concerning the period between the Roman take-over and the Fatimid dynasty. 

The story of the wheel breaking when the saint touched it also reminds me of when my sister broke a dodgem car, for some reason. 
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Many thanks! :aww:

Oh wow, that must have been an awesome exhibit! That certainly covers a wide and incredibly interesting period of time. I assume they had some of the Fayum mummy portraits there? Did they have any Fatimid period artifacts there as well? I've always wondered what their particular artistic style looked like. I feel it's shameful to have that much of a blank in my knowledge when I find that period so fascinating AND it could come in handy when doing more pictures of the Crusades. :D
Reply
:icondashinvaine:
dashinvaine Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016
Fayum portraits featured, but then the museum has a nice lot of those anyway. They had one of a priest with the seven pointed star diadem at his brow, as well as a statue of another priest wearing a similar item, and a surviving star of its type. There were also papyri interestingly invoking the god of Moses as well as the old Egyptian gods. And there were statues of Horus in Roman armour.

There was also a stripy, knitted child's sock, which you wouldn't think was an ancient artefact. 

Lots of stuff about the Coptic church, obviously. The exhibition carried on into the Fatimid era, with a fair few artefacts from that time, vases, manuscripts and so-on. (A surprising amount of figurative art seems to have been prouduced, despite Islamic structures). Indeed the time immediately after Ancient Egypt is a bit vague in a lot of people's minds, so it is nice to have this gap filled in. I didn't take so much of the Fatimid stuff in, though, as I was a bit overloaded by that point.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Huh, that's really interesting! Yeah, I definitely wouldn't think some stripy knitted child's sock would be an ancient artifact at first glance either. But then, I've gone into museums where there were some little items that just looked like something you could buy at a garage sale. But happened to be 2,000 years old. :XD: And then there is that really cool feeling you get when you're looking at some little piece of pinched pottery and you're staring at the fingerprints of someone who lived in 2,500 B.C. I will also admit to having a guilty feeling partially mixed with triumph when you notice little details in some pieces. I remember looking at a Greek vase at one point and exulting in the fact that all the lines weren't perfectly straight. HAHA! I'm not the only one who can't paint perfectly straight lines! :XD: 

But I digress. I would love to see that papyrus myself. Do you remember what the approximate date of it was?

I had never really known about the Roman fascination/craze for all things Egyptian that went on until I found myself in the "Egyptian" part of the Vatican museums and found tons of weird stylistic combinations (like very Hellenistic-looking Roman Emperors in very Egyptian-looking poses and wearing the garments of Pharaohs). If I'm not mistaken, I think the Emperor Hadrian was responsible for a good deal of that. I know he had a particular love for Egypt (and Greece as well) in any case. 

From what I understand, the non-figurative mandate in Islam only applies to things used in some religious capacity, such as mosque decoration, architectures, or illuminated pages of the Koran, etc. Secular things, like histories, books or items for home use could have figurative imagery. I could be wrong though. 
Reply
:icondashinvaine:
dashinvaine Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016
It is nice when the Ancients and the Old Masters slip up, and don't make one feel entirely inadequate. Seeing Botticelli or Titian put a head at an impossible angle on a neck, for example... There again everyone has an off-day. 

I don't remember the specific dates of the papyri in question. Probably around the First Century.

The pseudo Egyptian stuff in the Vatican museum is indeed quite interesting, i seem to recall. One can imagine the Roman sculptor looking nervous when the patron asks for Egyptian stuff. 'Oh yes. I can do Egyptian style. Absolutely! Are you sure you don't want Greek style though?'
It brings to mind the crude attempts at gothic (or gothick) architecture, from the eighteenth and very early 19th century, that preceded the gothic revival proper, and where you could tell the designers were out of their classical comfort zone and didn't really know what they were doing. (Or the same people doing Chinoiserie, for that matter.)

Another good example of the Roman fixation with Egypt is the Pyramid of Cestius, did you see that?
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahah, true that! :D

Compromise, why not both?! classconnection.s3.amazonaws.c…

I did! And my first reaction was, "Wait, was that a pyramid?!" :XD: We unfortunately only saw Rome from a bus for the most part, so I didn't get to poke around nearly as much as I would have liked. But I will go back someday and see it all! :D
Reply
:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Edited Feb 2, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Almost all the miracles involving martyrs were basically "haha no you're not killing this person by the methods of your choosing, you get to kill them when I say so".

Actually most miracles in Christianity are just God displaying his power; multiplying the loaves and fishes, for example, primarily just shows that God is not subject to the do ut des/"sacrificial economy" limitations held to bind even the "small-G" gods. Resurrecting Lazarus shows both that (because Jesus didn't need a human sacrifice to give Lazarus his life back), and that God can even reunite soul and body after they're separated, which is otherwise metaphysically impossible (no matter how many human sacrifices you make—there's a reason Christianity is the only religion which seriously claims ever to have resurrected the dead, in the historic past rather than in the eschatological future).
Reply
:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Edited Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I like the purple of her dress and the hilt of the sword.

And seriously, what was with Maximinus? What kind of idiot thinks a philosopher who can demolish the greatest philosophers of opposing schools, could be bribed by mere "large gifts and generous promises" into abandoning the school they had so defended? That's like saying "you, with your nation's martial arts, have completely defeated all my champions, in order to prevent my empire from annexing your nation; I'll give you lots of stuff if you help my empire annex your nation". Has that ever worked? Ever?
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :dance:

Clearly he had never met a woman of St. Catherine's intellectual and spiritual caliber before! :D
Reply
:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Also it was before comic books, so I suppose he had a lot fewer fictional examples of why that wouldn't work.
Reply
:iconmeldelen:
Meldelen Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much for this gift. I love female martyrs and this St Catherine is just magnificent. I love how you decpited her as a Roman noblewoman. Your historically-accurate art makes your work even more priceless if possible. Congratulations :D
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANK YOU!!! :hug: That means a lot coming from you, because I know how much beautiful (particularly religious) artwork you see all the time during your travels!
Reply
:iconmeldelen:
Meldelen Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome! :D And believe me, you're MAGNIFICENT and I'm so glad I met you and your art, so please, keep on with the good work! I hope I'll see more female martyrs of you! :D
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
D'awwww..... :meow: I'm so very happy I've met you and have had the opportunity to see your beautiful photos! They've really inspired a number of pieces of mine, as well as given me a great longing to go to all of the beautiful churches I see in your pictures! :D
Reply
:iconmeldelen:
Meldelen Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I'm truly flattered. :) I'll keep on uploading more when I've some time (work and studies stress me right now). There is no more happiness than know I can help you to keep improving. Thanks!!! :D
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I understand that perfectly, life and studies definitely do keep one busy. :nod:

You're very welcome! I always enjoy seeing your stuff! :D
Reply
:icondisplacedsoutherner:
DisplacedSoutherner Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So, so beautiful.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANKS!
Reply
:icondisplacedsoutherner:
DisplacedSoutherner Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:icongil-rodrigo-fiallos:
Gil-Rodrigo-Fiallos Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Lovely icon, she would be gorgeous in a triptych flanked by your St. Cecilia and St. Lucy icons. The wine red and deep royal purple you chose for her garments are perfect. I always love to see your icons, you could even use them for a book of saints. Keep it up :D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!! That's a good idea! I've also had a number of people suggest the idea of having a book of saints; maybe someday I'll have to put one together. :D I should probably do the Apostles first though. :XD: 
Reply
:iconladyoftheapocalypse:
LadyoftheApocalypse Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Your art just keeps getting better and better! This is just so beautiful! I love her face and all the details.:hug:
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
OH! Thank you so much!!!! :dance: :glomp:
Reply
:iconladyoftheapocalypse:
LadyoftheApocalypse Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug:
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
January 22, 2016
Image Size
1.5 MB
Resolution
1472×1944
Link
Thumb

Stats

Views
7,221 (15 today)
Favourites
206 (who?)
Comments
49