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The Penance of Mary Magdalene

According to the legend, during her last thirty years in France, Mary Magdalene devoted herself to solitary penance for the sins of her past life. This legend is connected to the belief that she was the sister of Martha and Lazarus of Bethany. Artwork depicting Mary in penance usually show her in a desert or rocky landscape, sometimes with a cave, and with a skull or a crucifix.

Related:   Ecstasy, Dwelling with Angels, Apotheosis   Other Portraits of Mary, Called Magdalene


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  GRECO, El
      Magdalene, The (1576-78):
            Mary, upper part of figure
      Penitent Magdalene (1585-90):
            Picture cut left and bottom
      Penitent Magdalene, The:
            Head
  GUARDI, Gianantonio
      Female St. contemplating a crucifix, A (C. 1745):
            Lower right corner of picture
  LA TOUR, Georges de
      Magdalen of Night Light (1630-35):
            Central part of picture
            Light
            Upper left part of picture
            Upper right part of picture
      Magdalene before mirror (C. 1640):
            Hand and skull
            Head of Mary
            Left part of picture
            Skull and mirror
            Upper part of picture
      Magdalene with the smoking flame (C. 1638-40):
            Light
      Penitent Magdalene, The (1638-43):
            Light and mirror
  LONGWY (Manufacturers)
      St. Magdalene:
            Rear view
  SEGHERS, Gérard
      Repentant Magdalene (C. 1630):
            Crucifix
            Head of Mary
            Lower central part of picture
            Lower left corner of picture
            Upper left part of picture
            Upper right part of picture