Saint Katharine of Alexandria

Image: Bartolomeo Veneto, Saint Catherine (c1520). Oil on panel. 35.2 x 27.9 cm. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow.

Bartolommeo Veneto

The Städel’sche Institut at Frankfurt

A LITTLE wreath of bay about her head, 
The Virgin-Martyr stands, touching her wheel 
With finger-tips that from the spikes of steel 
Shrink, though a thousand years she has been dead. 
She bleeds each day as on the day she bled ; 
Her pure, gold cheeks are blanched, a cloudy seal 
Is on her eyes ; the mouth will never feel 
Pity again ; the yellow hairs are spread 
Downward as damp with sweat ; they touch the rim 
Of the green bodice that to blackness throws 
The thicket of bay-branches sharp and trim 
Above her shoulder : open landscape glows 
Soft and apart behind her to the right, 
Where a swift shallop crosses the moonlight. 

 

 

 

 

Bartolommeo Veneto

The Städel’sche Institut at Frankfurt

A LITTLE wreath of bay about her head, 
The Virgin-Martyr stands, touching her wheel 
With finger-tips that from the spikes of steel 
Shrink, though a thousand years she has been dead. 
She bleeds each day as on the day she bled ; 
Her pure, gold cheeks are blanched, a cloudy seal 
Is on her eyes ; the mouth will never feel 
Pity again ; the yellow hairs are spread 
Downward as damp with sweat ; they touch the rim 
Of the green bodice that to blackness throws 
The thicket of bay-branches sharp and trim 
Above her shoulder : open landscape glows 
Soft and apart behind her to the right, 
Where a swift shallop crosses the moonlight.