Oil on canvas, 28cm by 24cm.
On the top stretcher is written: ‘Antonio Maltese. The original of this painting is in the Royal Palace at Naples.’
On the bottom stretcher ‘This copy done by Angelica Kauffman at Naples in 1773.’
The painting refers to a vision experienced by the 4th Century martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria, in which the Christ Child places a ring on her finger, as she consecrates herself to Him.
Modern scholarship now considers her to be a figure of legend based on the life and death of the Greek philosopher Hypatia.
Angelica Kauffman became a friend of Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), who greatly admired the work of the talented Swiss-born artist and became one of her foremost patrons.