VIGRI, Caterina
(b. 1413, Bologna, d. 1463, Bologna)


Caterina Vigri (Catherine of Bologna) was an Italian painter and writer as well as a saint. She was raised at the court of Niccolò III d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara, whom her father served as a diplomatic agent. Catherine acted as mistress of novices in a Clarisse convent and it was in this capacity that she began to write Le sette armi spirituali (The seven spiritual weapons). She wrote other works, hymns and letters. She also produced frescoes, free-standing paintings, and illuminated manuscripts; the frescoes are gone, but some of her other art has survived.

In 1456 Caterina was sent to found a new house in Bologna, Corpus Domini. There she became abbess and stayed until her death. The process of her canonisation, begun in 1646, was not completed until 1712, under the pontificate of Clement XI. During the same papacy, she was proclaimed patroness of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna (1709) and patron saint of painters (1712).

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