The Penitent Magdalen (1638-43) by Georges De la Tour

The Penitent Magdalen - Georges De la Tour - 1638-43

Artwork Information

TitleThe Penitent Magdalen
ArtistGeorges De la Tour
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions52 1/2 x 40 1/4 in. (133.4 x 102.2 cm)
Current LocationThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY, US

About The Penitent Magdalen

Georges de La Tour’s iconic oil-on-canvas painting, The Penitent Magdalen, is a somber scene that showcases Mary Magdalene in deep meditation about her past life of sin. This work of art is regarded by many as one of the most unforgettable and treasured pieces in the world of religious art. It measures 52 1/2 x 40 1/4 inches, making it a grand masterpiece to look at.

La Tour’s intense naturalism makes religious allegory more accessible to every viewer. The painting features a candle as its center point, which has become an identification mark for La Tour. It exudes spirituality that can be felt by those who view it and appreciate art on a spiritual level.

The artwork also reveals contemporary history paintings’ symmetry, which was a hallmark during the French baroque era. Although deeply spiritual in tone, the forms are solid and massive emphasizing clarity- this is what made La Tour renowned globally. Two other works from him with the same theme are Magdalene at the Mirror and Magdalene with Two Flames.

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