Catherine of Siena by Emanuela De Musis

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Emanuela De Musis

Catherine of Siena


50.8 x 50.8 cm | 20 x 20 in

Oil on Linen

  • Collections Magazine Award

This painting started as a simple demo piece for a portrait workshop at the Academy of Realist Art, Boston. During the process, I suffered a miscarriage and suddenly the piece became important, a testament to the miserableness of a failed pregnancy. To make matters more difficult and, paradoxically, more bearable, the model of the demo, Catherine, who is my close friend, was pregnant with her second child. The coincidences multiplied. Catherine of Siena is the patron saint of miscarriages and her feast day is April 29th, the day that I began bleeding. The theme came together then. St. Catherine cut her hair to become unattractive to a suitor; Catherine, my friend, has the most beautiful, healthy curled mane. How to marry the contradictions became the focal point of the painting. Being that St. Catherine is also the patron saint of fire prevention, I invoked flames to shear her locks.