Much has already been written about the dramatic lives of both Catherine of Alexandria and the artist, and it is easy to draw comparisons between the two: the former tortured, the latter raped. Was it for this reason that Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1652) often chose her as a subject for her paintings, giving Catherine her own face? It seems that the theme was popular with great early 17th century masters of Italian painting as well, and that the Christian name linked with the Medici family was very often given to Florentine girls. This in no way detracts – quite the contrary – from the magisterial character of this composition and its result: a world record far higher than the previous one. It honoured a rare artist and feminist before her time.