Cranach, The Marriage of Catherine of Alexandria to Christ
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), "The Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine," circa 1516, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
Christian Iconography

This is the web's premiere site for Christian iconography, where you can learn how to identify the saints in medieval art and read the legends behind their pictures. Just look up your saint in the list below, or use the search field above to look for saints or elements in a painting.

For example, if you've seen a picture of a saint standing by a tower, just enter "tower" into the search field above and we will take you to St. Barbara's page, which will explain the story behind her tower, give you lots more pictures, and link you to actual medieval legends about St. Barbara.

Symbols like the tower are called "attributes," and they are used pretty consistently in medieval and Renaissance art. So next time you see a young woman and a tower you'll know who she is!

Here is our list of saints and special topics. Mary and Jesus are at the end: BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SITE