The Virgin Appears to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena

In the Gesuati (Santa Maria del Rosario), Venice

Dominic is identified by his Dominican habit and the dog holding a torch at the center of the composition.

The identification of St. Catherine of Siena is more problematic. The crown of thorns on her head is normally an attribute of St. Rose of Lima. However, there is at least one other instance of an artist transferring the crown to another Dominican woman saint.

Furthermore, the way the Virgin is holding her right hand (and the Christ Child his left) suggests that it once held a rosary. In that case, the sculpture would refer to the institution of the rosary, traditionally represented as the Virgin and Child giving the rosary to Dominic and Catherine (example).

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More of St. Dominic
More of St. Catherine of Siena
More of Our Lady of the Rosary

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.