Pupini, active in Bologna, was probably a pupil of Francesco Francia. He is first recorded in 1511, when he collaborated with Bagnacavallo on the frescoes in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Faenza. In 1525 he participated with Girolamo da Carpi in the decoration of the sacristy of San Michele in Bosco in Bologna. From that point his works reflect the influence of Parmigianino and da Carpi. In 1536 he decorated the Villa d'Este at Belriguardo together with da Carpi, Garofalo, Battista Dossi and others. In 1539 he was again in Bologna where, around 1545, he painted Saint Ursula and her Companions for the church of San Giacomo. The present composition has many similarities with the aforementioned fresco, in particular the head of Saint Catherine.
We are grateful to Professor Mina Gregori and to Mario di Giampaolo for independently confirming the attribution to Pupini on the basis of photographs.