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This is possibly the oldest depiction of Saint Catherine preserved in Sinai. In early Byzantine icons the Saint appears accompanied by one more holy figure, such as Saint Marina in this case. Both saints are portrayed in a full frontal posture typical of the martyrs of the Eastern Church, holding a cross in their right hand, and with their left palm stretched upwards. Saint Catherine is clad in female Byzantine imperial dress, with a shield-shaped “thorakion”. Saint Marina is clad in a bright red maphorion (mantle with hood), and a light blue chiton (woolen tunic) with unusual fabric folds. The small faces are quite uniform, and exhibit some plasticity with their characteristic, eleventh century blushed patches on the cheeks.


Details

Tempera on wood
Eleventh century
28 Χ 22 cm
St. Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine, South Sinai Governorate