Curator‘s Comments

The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena is a compositional study for a notable series of prints by Vanni on the life of Saint Catherine of Siena; a significant regional saint whose popularity grew after Siena was forced to give up its independence and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany in 1555.

Vanni treated the subject of Saint Catherine of Siena in a number of paintings and drawings, but his most significant and original interpretation of the iconography of Saint Catherine is represented by his designs for a series of prints of the life of the saint, engraved by the Flemish printmaker Pieter de Jode and published in Siena in 1597. This drawing is a preparatory study for part of one of these large engravings, depicting Saint Catherine of Siena receiving the stigmata and healing a possessed woman. No other drawing for this print is known.

The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena

Francesco Vanni. Italian, 1563–1610

The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena, c. 1595–1597

Red chalk on paper

Purchased in memory of Michael Goodison

ID Number: SC 2009:7