'Madonna and Child with St Catherine in a Rose Garden', after Stefano da Zevio
Charles Fairfax Murray
Date Made/Found: about 1876-1880
, British, 1849 - 1919
Stefano da Verona
, Italian, circa 1374 - 1438
Material and Medium: watercolour and bodycolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 418x 298mm
Support: 259 x 207mm
Accession Number: CGSG00372
Stefano da Verona's painting is highly decorative but also is full of religious symbolism. The colours of blue and red predominate. Blue is the symbolic colour of heaven and spiritualist whilst the red in the figure’s clothes can mean humanity and in the roses as the blood of Christ’s crucifixion. The white roses are suggestive of the Madonna’s purity, whilst the rose itself is one of her emblems. She herself sits on the ground in a gesture of humility.
‘Attributes’ or personal emblems surround St Catherine. The wheel and sword are the symbols of her torture and death and she is being presented with a martyr’s palm. She also holds a ring, denoting her vision of her engagement to the King of Glory. Further objects with meaning are the golden fountain, symbolising the fountain of life, the rivers of heaven and salvation itself. The peacocks too represent salvation as it was believed that their flesh never decayed.