The betrothal of St. Catherine, Paolo Veronese

Description of the picture:

Betrothal of St. Catherine – Paolo Veronese. Around 1575. Oil on canvas. 377×241
The main altar image of the church St. Catherine in its own structure, it is one of the more successful variants of the Pesaro Titian altar from the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari: the same diagonal, asymmetric composition thanks to the staircase leading to the throne of Our Lady on the left side of the picture. A pair of Corinthian columns, like pillars of faith, support the arches of the divine temple on the sides of the throne. The brightness and richness of Veronese’s color reaches its own top here, rich reddish, blue, yellowish and golden colors seem to shine from the inside.

The scene captured by the painter is complex and lively. St. Catherine kneels before the divine throne, on which Madonna and Little Jesus sit. One of the angels gives her right hand to the Baby so that he can put an engagement ring on her. Catherine keeps her left chest in a sign of her faith and obedience. The cloudy sky broken by light is brightly written, putti angels with a golden crown for the saint swiftly descend on it in honor of the celebration of the engagement. Angels at the edge of the clouds observe the action, while others around the throne and at its foot tune instruments and leaf through notes, choosing what to perform on such an occasion. A servant is ready to dress Catherine in a golden mantle.

Here, Veronese, as in most of his compositions, skillfully combined a deeply religious plot, an intimate moment of faith and piety with Venice’s pomp and pomp of action."

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