[Translate to English:] Katharinenaltar II
The altarpiece relates the legend of St Catherine of Alexandria, who is said to have converted 50 scholars to Christianity through her skilful argumentation. For this, she was sentenced to be executed by being broken on a wheel. When, in response to her prayers, fire came down from Heaven and destroyed the torture instrument, she was beheaded.
The Elector of Saxony, Friedrich the Wise, commissioned this altarpiece from his court painter Lucas Cranach the Elder for the Castle Church in Wittenberg. St Catherine, the patron saint of scholars and educators, was the ideal symbolic figure for Wittenberg University, founded by Friedrich in 1502.