Elizabeth Panton is portrayed, in a statement of her Catholicism, as St Catherine of Alexandria, holding a martyr's palm and the spiked wheel on which, according to legend, St Catherine's body was broken. This theme is seen in portraits of Charles II's queen, Catherine of Braganza, some twenty-five years earlier. It was a popular subject with English court sitters, even used by Lely in paintings of Charles's mistress, Barbara, Lady Castlemaine. Elizabeth returned to England in October 1690, presumably taking her portrait with her. In 1691 she married Henry, fifth Lord Arundell of Wardour. Gennari's combination of French and Italian influences sets him apart from his British contemporaries, and is exemplified in this portrait by the Italianate colouring and strong lighting.
Tabitha Barber, 'The Arundells of Wardour: Roman Catholic patrons of art in late seventeenth-century England', Apollo, vol.143, no.410, April 1996, pp.12-17, reproduced pl.6
Dwight C. Miller, 'Benedetto Gennari's Career at the Courts of Charles II and James II and a Newly Discovered Portrait of James II', Apollo, vol.117, no.251, Jan. 1983, pp.24-9, reproduced pl.8