The Venetian painter Lorenzo Lotto developed an idiosyncratic, imaginative pictorial language and sought unconventional iconographic solutions. This early work shows the mystical marriage of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a subject for devotion particularly popular among young women. According to legend, the saint sought advice from a wise hermit while on the lookout for a suitable husband who could equal her status, wealth, and intellect. The hermit presented her with a picture of the Virgin and Child and suggested that she take Christ as her spouse. In a dream, the Christ Child thereupon placed a ring on Catherine’s finger as a sign of the mystical marriage. Lotto’s asymmetric composition with the cloth of honor opening onto a fiery evening sky further emphasises the scene’s visionary character.