Dolci was the leading Florentine painter of the seventeenth century. Most of his works are highly detailed, small in scale, and intensely devotional.
Saint Catherine of Siena was a fourteenth century Christian mystic and lay member of the Dominican Order. She devoted herself to the care of the sick and needy, and was thought to have developed an acute awareness of human suffering. Christ appeared to her in a vision and offered her the choice of two crowns, one of gold and one of thorns. She chose the crown of thorns.