Mary Magdalene (c. 1613-1620) by Artemisia Gentileschi

Mary Magdalen - Artemisia Gentileschi - 1616-1618

Artwork Information

TitleMary Magdalen
ArtistArtemisia Gentileschi
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions57 11/16 x 42 1/2 in (146.5 x 108 cm)
Current LocationPitti Gallery, Florence

About Mary Magdalen

Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian artist and a precursor to female talent, created a Baroque Oil on Canvas Painting called Mary Magdalene between 1616-1618. The painting, which shows Mary Magdalene, depicts her pushing away a mirror with the text “you have chosen the best part” while wearing a yellow silk gown. It was buried in a private collection in the south of France until 2014, having been lost for generations. Artemisia Gentileschi was known for changing her style and subject matter to match her audience’s tastes and interests.

Another painting by Artemisia Gentileschi, called Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, depicts a woman in a seated posture with her head tilted back and hands clasped around her knee. It is presently held in a private European collection. Artemisia was famous for being one of the few women painters of her time who worked as an artist in a style and with a motif that was perceived as masculine, which is why her paintings were popular in a time when female talent was underrated. The portrayal of Mary Magdalene in the painting of the same name communicates that women can choose their path, and that she chose the greater path.

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