- The painting was possibly acquired by Vincenzo Bonello following the end of World War II. It is curiously omitted from the list of thirty nine works of art lent by Bonello for the exhibition entitled La Madonna nellArte held at the then Archbishops Seminary (Mdina) in 1949. Neither did it feature in the 1960 Pauline Centenary Exhibition held at the Catholic institute and also chaired by Bonello. The painting was later to feature in the Paladini exhibition held between May and September 1967 at Palazzo dei Normanni (Palermo, Sicily) and continued to attract considerable interest from scholars. Conservation works carried out by Heritage Maltas Principal Conservator Anthony Spagnol have confirmed that the painting is a fragment of a probably slightly larger original that had sustained considerable damages. The painting was cleaned from its layer of varnish and pictorial re-integration carried out on particular areas.
- The painting depicts the young Saint Catherine, bending forward to receive a wedding ring, symbolizing her spiritual engagement to God, from the Christ child, sitting on his mother Mary. The painting is essentially Mannerist in structure and is probably dateable to around 1612. The figures display elongated features and angularity in poses. The work is also monochromatic and the closely knit group is lit by a diagonal shaft of light suggesting Caravaggios chiaroscuro and treatment of light. There are evident stylistic and iconographic similarities between this painting and Paladinis late works including his Adoration of the Magi at the Capuchins church of Calasciabetta in Sicily.
- Repository/Location: National Museum of Fine Arts (Valletta, Malta)
- Circa 1612 [Create]
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