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Core Record

Painting Title Saint Agatha
Alternative Title Portrait of a Young Lady Holding a Quill
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed toItalian School
Date Earliest possibly about 1630
Date Latest possibly about 1800
Description This is a half-length figure of a girl pressing a white cloth to her chest in her left hand and a palm in her right hand. She is most likely Saint Agatha, perhaps a portrait of a lady as Saint Agatha, as the drastic elements like blood or cut-off breasts have been avoided. Saint Agatha of Catania (Sicily) was an Early-Christian martyress (3rd century AD). According to her legend she was tortured and her breasts were cut off, so she was usually depicted carrying her breasts on a platter, but also sometimes just pressing a cloth to her chest. This may be a copy of the painting created by a Caravaggesque artist around 1630 (judging from the dress), as the composition is better then execution. The painting's dating and attribution are open to question and require further research.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 255
Subject portrait; religion
Measurements 72 x 58.5 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Unknown.
Publications Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 252 as 'Portrait of a Young Lady holding a Quill'.
Notes A label pinned to the frame reads 'SP Catherine - no record'.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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