Images of Mary Magdalene

This page presents a small collection of images of Mary of Magdala.

Giovanni Savoldo – Mary Magdalene

Giovanni Savoldo - Mary Magdalene

Giovanni Savoldo, Mary Magdalene, 1535-40

This version with the (lunar) silver cape if from Google Arts and Culture. Another version (with more description) with a gold cape is also available.

Laurel Lowe, in her essay Redeeming Mary Magdalene, says of the painting (she’s referring to the version with the gold cape):

We notice right away that the background of the painting is divided into a light half and a dark half, and Mary Magdalene stands between them. Behind her to our right is the dark archway to Christ’s tomb. To our left we see the blue sky of a new day. The light of day tells us that Mary has already come out of the tomb, because according to scripture she arrived before the sun had risen. Her jar of ointment is near her and well lit, a reminder that she came to the tomb for the sacred purpose of anointing Jesus’ dead body, a very different experience from the one she encounters, finding Christ alive in the garden. Although she seems to hold herself back as if a bit shy, Mary is not desperate or lost as she often is depicted. She isn’t grasping for Christ, who must be standing before her. Rather, her shining cloak emphasizes that she is reflecting. Her garment shimmers with the newly risen sun, or the light of the new son of man. The gold color indicates the high value of that reflection.

(Laurel Lowe’s essay can be found in Wisdom has Built her House – Psychological Aspects of the Feminine.)

Angelo Bronzino – Pietà

Angelo Bronzino – Pietà, about 1530

Here Mary Magdalene wears her red cloak (associated with passion), and touches the thigh of Jesus in a sign of physical intimacy. (Mother Mary in contrast wears a more traditionally coloured cloak.)

Rodin – Christ & Mary Magdalene

Christ & Mary Magdalene – Rodin, 1908

The sculpture depicts Mary shouldering Jesus, perhaps bringing him down from the cross. (Rodin also had in mind other associations, as described on Google Arts & Culture.)

Edwin Abbey – The Three Marys

Edwin Abbey – The Three Marys, ca. 1906 – 1911

Here is a poignant image of the three Marys at dawn before the resurrection. As Laurel Lowe says (in the essay mentioned above):

We get the sense that these women, “The three Marys,” have traveled far and been through much. Even though they are exhausted and may not realize consciously what is about to happen, this is a moment when something new is about to arise. The darkness begins to lighten of its own accord, right before the dawn of a new spiritual reality, even while the ego might be tired and unaware that a shift has taken place in the unconscious.

Taddeo Crivelli – Mary Magdalene Borne Aloft

Taddeo Crivelli – Mary Magdalene Borne Aloft, about 1469

A penitent Mary retreats to the wilderness for thirty years, neither eating nor drinking, naked except for her long hair. She is lifted to the heavens at each canonical hour to hear the voices of angels. More on Google Arts & Culture.