ALTICHIERO da Zevio
(b. ca. 1330, Zevio, d. ca. 1390, Verona)

Two scenes on the southwest wall

1378-84
Fresco
Oratorio di San Giorgio, Padua

On the southwest wall opposite the St George cycle are four scenes depicting the work and martyrdom of St Catherine (in the upper register) and that of St Lucy (in the lower register). The picture shows the scenes St Catherine Liberated by an Angel from the Torture on the Wheel (top) and The Martyrdom of St Lucy (bottom).

The first two pictures, dedicated to St Catherine, are in very poor condition; they show the saint appearing before Emperor Maxentius to condemn idolatry and her dispute with the philosophers summoned by the emperor and their conversion. These scenes are followed by the picture of an angel intervening to prevent Catherine's torture on the wheel and the beheading of the saint. Both scenes have parallels in the St George cycle, here, however, an oriental milieu, seen in the physiognomies, head coverings, and scimitars, is emphasized still more.

The first Lucy scene in the lower register shows the steadfastness of the saint before the judge Paschasius, the second and unsuccessful attempt to have her brought to a brothel with a team of oxen. These scenes are followed by the martyrdom of the saint, and the concluding scene is her burial. In the martyrdom scene she survives torture by flame and boiling oil, unscathed, and is then stabbed to death.




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