Description According to Catholic tradition, Mary Magdalene was a beautiful woman who had led a sinful life. Upon meeting Christ, she repented of her former ways. This painting characteristically depicts Mary Magdalene as a young woman with long blond hair, bared chest, and pale skin. Her eyes are turned sorrowfully towards God, and she is represented with a cross and a skull. Crespi has imitated the famous depictions of the same subject by another great Bolognese painter Guido Reni (Walters 37.2631). Exquisitely executed, the painting's small size indicates that it was a private devotional image for prayer and meditation. For more information on this painting, please see Federico Zeri's 1976 catalogue no. 440, pp. 551-552.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, prior to 1909 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Later inscription engraved on the back of the copper sheet: CARLO CIGNANI FECE
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, before 1909
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