Repentant Mary Magdalene

Repentant Mary Magdalene
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Titian
Painting, Oil on canvas, 119x97 cm
Origin: Italy, 1560s

Titian turned to the subject of the repentant Mary Magdalene on several occasions, but this version he kept for himself in his studio at his home, and it was only after the artist's death that it became the property of Cristoforo Barbarigo, to whom it was sold by Titian's son amongst other paintings. It was from the Barbarigo collection that the Repentant Magdalene entered the Hermitage.

According to legend, Mary Magdalene spent many years in the desert atoning for her sins. Renaissance painting has produced few works which can match the emotional force of Titian's depiction of the woman alone, her face tearstained, her gaze soaring upwards to the heavens, her hand pressed to her breast - the perfect image of a troubled soul. The amazingly rich painterly texture varies from thick, projecting brushstrokes to transparent warm tones which barely cover the priming.

Personage: Mary Magdalene
Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: Barbarigo collection, Venice, 1850
School: Venetian
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

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