THE MYSTIC MARRIAGE OF SAINT CATHERINE
This painting was acquired by the Museum as one by an unknown master. Its attribution was provided by the author of this catalogue (Markova – 1982).
The picture can now be acknowledged as one of the finest from a group of paintings attributed to Francesco Rizzo on the basis of the subtle execution of certain of its elements. This applies in part to the face of St. Catherine reminiscent of female figures in the works of Vincenzo Catena. The depiction of the Madonna's head can be traced back to figures in the work of Andrea Mantegna.
Provenance: it was evidently acquired by A.I.Vyazemskii in Italy in the 1780s; it was in the stately home of Ostafievo near Moscow (Vyazemskii-Sheremetev collection) and then in a private collection in Moscow; in 1980 it was acquired from S.S.Stakhanova.