Description IIn the New Testament, Mary from the town of Magdala was one of Christ's most loyal followers. Later tradition associated her with a reformed prostitute. The merging of these identities produced emotionally powerful images of a remorseful yet alluring young woman, meditating on death. A related painting is on the wall nearby. Many people kept skulls for meditational purposes, as you can see in the Collector's Study (off the Sculpture Court on Level 2A of this building). Spadarino is one of several painters in Rome in the early 1600s who explored dramatic, compact compositions of a few figures in a dark space illuminated by a strong light, much like a modern "spotlight," an approach made famous by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571?1610).
- To Arrest the Ravages of Time: Caring for Art at the Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
- Rembrandt Peale's Portrait of John Meer: A New Addition to the American Art Collection. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2009.
- Caravaggio and his Circle in Rome. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. 2011-2012.
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 231, as Caravaggio]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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