DÜRER, Albrecht
(b. 1471, Nürnberg, d. 1528, Nürnberg)

The Martyrdom of St Catherine

Woodcut, 387 x 284 mm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

The woodcut confirms the function of costume studies as independent source material, for here the saint appears in Venetian costume. St Catherine, an Alexandrian princess, suffered a martyr's death during the reign of the heathen Roman emperor Maxentius, as a result of her missionary work during the period when Christians were being persecuted. She was condemned to be broken on the wheel, but it collapsed at God's command and a rain of fire killed many heathens. Here, this event is shown together with the beheading of St Catherine.

This print is closely related in style to the Apocalypse.