After Hugo Van der Goes

Workshop of Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440?–1485)
A Seated Female Saint
c. 1475–85
Pen, point of the brush and gray ink, heightened with white gouache over preliminary black chalk underdrawing, on green prepared paper
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

The delicate modeling with light and shade befits the exquisite appearance of this virgin saint, who was probably intended to be Saint Catherine of Alexandria. The figure recurs frequently in early Netherlandish art. Indeed, this drawing is itself a copy of a lost original: faint marks indicate that it was made using a tracing. Clad in a flowing robe royale, the young woman points to the finger on which Christ placed a ring in her vision of their mystic marriage.