Oil on canvas, 47cm by 36.25cm.
Catherine of Alexandria, who was of noble birth, was martyred in the early 4th Century on the orders of the Emperor Maxentius.
Initially tied to a spiked wheel, which was to become the symbol in art of her martyrdom, she was eventually beheaded.
Pietro da Cortona worked mainly in Rome and Florence and is perhaps best known for his frescoes on the vaulted ceiling of the Grand Salon in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and extensive decorations for the Medici in Florence.
He was also an architect of note and a major figure in the development of Roman Baroque architecture.