Saint Catherine of Alexandria Polyptych
The Saint Catherine of Alexandria Polyptych (also known as Pisa Polyptych) is a painting by the Italian medieval artist Simone Martini
Simone Martini
Simone Martini was an Italian painter born in Siena.He was a major figure in the development of early Italian painting and greatly influenced the development of the International Gothic style....

, dating to 1320. Originally placed at the high altar of the church of Santa Caterina
Santa Caterina (Pisa)
Santa Caterina d'Alessandria is a church in Pisa, Tuscany, Italy.It is mentioned for the first time, together with a hospital, in 1211. The current edifice was built between 1251 and 1300, by will of St...

 in Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, it is now housed in the Museo Nazionale di San Matteo of the same city.

The work is signed SYMON DE SENIS ME PINXIT in the central panel with the Madonna and Child. Accordin to the original convent's annals, the polyptych was placed at the altar in 1320. It was thus completed by that year, having been likely begun in 1319.


The polyptych is Martini's largest work, and includes numerous sub-panels. Aside from the seven main ones, there are 15 predella
A predella is the platform or step on which an altar stands . In painting, the predella is the painting or sculpture along the frame at the bottom of an altarpiece...

figures, an upper row with other 14 figures and seven cusps with other characters. There is a total of 43 figures.

The central panel depicts the Madonna with Child; the remaining six main panels are, from left to right, St. Dominic, St. John the Evangelist, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. John the Baptist and St. Peter of Verona. All these figures are enclosed within three foiled cusped arches. Above the Madonna are the two archangels Gabriel and Michael and, above them, the Blessing Christ. The six saints panel are surmounted by, also in couples, the Twelve Apostles, with the exception of St. John the Evangelist, replaced by St. Paul.

The predella shows, at the center, Christ in the Sepulchre with the Madonna and St. Mark and further couples of saints which, from left to right, are Gregory and Luke, Stephen and Apollonia, Jerome and Lucy, Agnes and Ambrose, Thomas of Aquino and Augustine, Ursula and Lawrence

Since the identification of the saints is controversial, the saints panels in the museum are placed differently than the image in this article.
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