Despre virtuți. Smerenia
According to Christian tradition, after meeting Christ, Mary Magdalene repented her former sinful ways. With her ivory skin and long golden hair, the beautiful Magdalene turns her gaze toward heaven. Her cross and the skull make it clear she is meditating on the brevity of life and the salvation made possible by Christ's death.
Reni created an idealized, as well as classical style influenced by ancient sculpture and by the Renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520). This influence is visible in Magdalene's rounded, even features, painted so smoothly that the strokes seem to disappear, in contrast with the broad, energetic strokes used for the drapery, more typical of 17th-century painting. Images of female saints sometimes depicted in a seductive manner were very popular with some artists and patrons in the 17th century, and Reni painted many versions of this composition.
2002-2004: A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte.
1998-2001: Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.
1999: Saints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Chestnut Hill.
1988-1989: The Divine Guido: The Paintings of Guido Reni. Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, 40126 Bologna; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles.
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