A gifted follower of Perugino, Lo Spagna expanded on the master’s calm style in numerous works made for Perugia and the surrounding region of Umbria. This panel represents Catherine Benincasa of Siena (1347–1380), who was one of the major religious figures and most influential women of the late Middle Ages. Affiliated with the Dominican order, she was renowned for her devotion to the poor and sick, as well as for her mystical visions. In one such vision, she saw herself marked with Christ’s wounds from his crucifixion, known as the stigmata. These marks are faintly visible on the backs of her hands in the present work and serve to identify her.
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