Mary Magdalene
ca. 1800
16.5" x 14"
Framed: 22" x 19"
Painting, Oil on canvas
Region: Mexico, Peru
In this depiction of Mary Magdalene the aspect of the repentant sinner is almost equally significant as the disciple in her persona, as depicted in Western art and religious literature, fitting well with the great importance of penitence in medieval theology. Here, Mary wears the traditional red mantle, which some attribute to a symbol of her love for Christ, while others believe it was evidence of her wanton nature. Amongst the Saint are other symbols of her wanton identity: lush drapery, jewels, and a pearl comb. Mary Magdalene was often depicted as a noble courtesan during this period, symbolizing her vanity.