Saint Catherine of Alexandria
woodcut with hand-colouring, circa1470-80, on laid paper, a good and well-preserved impression of this large, undescribed early woodcut, the contemporary hand-colouring in red, green, yellow and light brown, with gum arabic on the red dress, the sheet mounted as a paste-down to the versoof a 15th-century German book cover, a thick, calf-covered wooden board, diapered with blind triple fillets, the sheet with various small 15th- and 16th-century ink inscriptions in Latin and Greek in the blank background and margins
Block 274 x 195 mm.
Sheet 338 x 217 mm.
Board 345 x 225 mm.
Not in Schreiber.
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The earliest inscription on this sheet, in the upper right corner in a German hand, can be dated to the late 15th century and is near-contemporary with the print. It reads:
Nu[n]c lege nu[n]c ora nu[n]c cu[m] fervore labora
Nu[n]c co[n]templa[r]e nu[n]c scripturas meditare
No[n] sis in pausa ne mortis sis tibi causa
Sic erit hora brevis et labor levis

Just below this is an early 16th-century ownership inscription:
Ao 1518 Michi […] Dno Georgi Pobeidezas […]

The inscription in Greek to the right of the saint reads:
γνῶθι σεαυτόν ('know thyself')

The partially legible inscription to her left is roughly translatable as 'nothing is granted to God that isn’t given by God’:
phi […] ad cognita[s]
nullus ad deu[m] accedit ex se
nisi […] datur a deo

The inscription on the hem of her dress refers to the moon and the night:
ultra concavi[…] orbis lune nocturnalis […]

We are grateful to our colleague Eugenio Donadoni from the Books & Manuscripts department for deciphering these inscriptions.
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