June: Hi, how are you?
Artist: (with a lovely smile) Good, thanks, how are you?
June: I am well, thanks. Having a little tour round the museum. It’s great. Some good medieval stuff.
Artist; (pauses painting with brush in one hand to make conversation) Yes! Is this your first time in Krakow?
June: Yes it is. I love it. Its really pretty especially with all the lights round the square and the markets, it has a lovely feel of Christmas - but it’s freezing cold. Anyway, we have had a grand time though. What are you painting? Looks familiar.
Artist: Yes, it looks familiar because you have probably walked past it a moment ago, its the “Beheading of St Catherine”
I am recreating it.
June: Yes that’s it! (laughing and noting my attention to detail or the lack of it) I thought I had just seen this. This is dejavu or is it Jamais vu? LOL
Neil in the corner going oh yeeeeaah, "that’s it" in sudden realization too.
June: Oh wow! I am blown away. You are bloody talented. Did you also paint the other piece of art?
Artist: Yes, finished that earlier today. Hoping to perfect this by the end of the day.
June: Wah, I am amazed by your talent. It’s magnificent. You are beautiful and it’s sexy that you are an artist. Do you mind if I take a couple of photographs of you working please?
Neil clears his throat loudly...
Artist: "Of course, no problem". She resumes painting now with a serious face - as if not to be caught delving into a state of vanity posing for a cameras.
She continues "I am a student from University of x (can't remember now). I am still learning".
June: "If this is the work of of an artist student, girl you are genius".
Chuckling as she blushed at my compliment and then responded, saying, “you are beautiful too”
June: "Oh thank you darling"
Said goodbye and opened the door behind her. It happened to be the end of the exhibition and we exited the museum.
Neil to me: Were you flirting with her?
Me: Yes, sort of, nothing wrong with a little flirt with amazing artists now and again, no?
He offers me a silent smile...
So Who is Catherine of Alexandria?
In old tradition, she was known as a Christian Saint and a virgin who was martyred in the early 4th C at the hands of the pagan emperor, Maxentius.
According to legends, she was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Egyptian Alexandra. She rebuked the emperor for cruelty because of the persecutions that happened under Maxentius. He was furious. How dare this woman rebuke me? Misogyny has existed since the beginning of time....Ha!
After an unsuccessful dispute with pagan philosophers summoned by the emperor, Catherine was then scourged and imprisoned. She was tortured for a long time that her body was covered with wounds from which blood flowed from streams. Errrr...
Soon after, Maxentius ordered her to be imprisoned without food so she could starve to death. She was saved by angels who healed her wounds with salve .She was reported to be fed daily by a dove from Heaven and claimed Christ visited her encouraging her to be brave.
She continued to covert people to Christianity regardless of her imprisonment. She converted all the people who visited her in prison including Maxentius wife, Valerie. After all failed attempts at destroying her, Maxentius tried to propose marriage to her which she turned down claiming she was married to Jesus Christ. (Errr....this is a a whole new level of psychosis)
With that being his last resort and a significant infuriating Maxentius waiting to explode, the Emperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but at her touch it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence.
Apparently, a milky liquid substance flowed from her body rather than blood. (utter pish!!!)
Apparently, angels transported her body to the highest mountain (now called mountain Saint Catherine next to Mount Sinai. in Egypt. Monks found her hair was still growing and a constant stream of the most heavenly fragranced healing oil issuing from her body. (Errrrr) This oil produced countless miracles.
I enjoy the odd myth and legends yeah, but what a load of utter medievial tripe!