MASOLINO da Panicale
(b. 1383, Panicale, d. 1447, Firenze)

Conversion and Beheading of Empress Faustina

Castiglione Chapel, San Clemente, Rome

The picture shows the scene on the lunette of the left-hand wall, depicting the Conversion and Beheading of Empress Faustina. According to the legend, Faustina openly criticised the emperor for his cruelty. He promptly commanded her to sacrifice to the idols, but she refused because she had been converted by Catherine to the Christian faith. The scene of her conversion is presented in a kind of insert into the lunette. Catherine is looking out of the window of her prison cell, talking to the empress seated before her. To the right we see the empress's martyrdom.

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