Mary Magdalene
ca. 1700
14.5" x 6" x 4"
Sculpture, Marble
Region: Mexico
Although its small size and its consciously archaizing facture are somewhat reminiscent of Late Medieval or Early Renaissance altar figures by such Trecento masters as the Pisani. This Magdalene in fact has an almost exact cognate in an 18th-century St. Joseph Holding the Christ Child, now in the Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City. This finely worked figure of St. Mary Magdalene holds in her left hand the ointment jar with which she traditionally anointed the dead Christ, and her elaborate draperies bespeak her high rank in the Early Christian pantheon.

Reference: Mexico: Splendors of 30 Centuries, section on "Church and Convent," New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10 October 1990 to 13 January 1991, pp. 371-372, cat. no. 155, repro.