Portrait of a Lady as Mary Magdalen
Bartolomeo uses the device of the vase on the foreground parapet to prompt an association with Mary Magdalene, the saint believed to have anointed Christ’s feet. The rich embroideries and jewelry may refer to New Testament descriptions of Mary Magdalene as well as to the actual sitter’s status as a woman of wealth, while her frank, serious gaze suggests the piety of the saint, the lady’s likely namesake.
Oil on cradled panel
22 5/8 x 17 5/8in. (57.5 x 44.8cm)
frame: 28 × 23 1/4 × 3 1/8 in. (71.1 × 59.1 × 7.9 cm) (show scale)
Bequest of A. Augustus Healy
This item is not on view
Bartolomeo Veneto (Italian, North Italian School, active 1502-1531). Portrait of a Lady as Mary Magdalen, 1520s. Oil on cradled panel, 22 5/8 x 17 5/8in. (57.5 x 44.8cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of A. Augustus Healy, 21.79 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 21.79_SL1.jpg)
overall, 21.79_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Why did the artist portray this lady as a full profile? Isn't it more typical to be at a quarter turn?
In that time period it was still very common to show people in profile but this woman is actually in a three quarter pose. Her frank, serious gaze suggests the piety of the saint Mary Magdalen, likely the lady’s namesake.