Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, in c. 1507, painted a piece of art that has become quite popular- St Catherine of Alexandria. The painting depicts St Catherine leaning on a wheel, an allusion to her martyrdom. One can find this image in the Public Domain and at the National Gallery in London.
Raphael’s style aims to evoke emotions from the audience by creating paintings that reflect his study of the sinuous grace of Perugino’s paintings, dynamic compositions similar to those taken by Leonardo da Vinci, and monumentality comparable to Michelangelo’s figures. He is one of three great painters who form part of what we call ‘the High Renaissance.’ Raphael’s remarkable paintings are held under the same prestigious category as those created by Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
Although it is impossible for anyone other than Raphael himself to know exactly what he hoped people would feel when looking at St Catherine today, its pictures still enthrall us centuries later because they are beautiful; even if we do not believe or understand their theological purpose.