The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Ecstasy of Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Ascribed to Lo Spagna (1450 - 1532)
  • The Ecstasy of Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Italy
  • c. 1500 - 1520
  • Painting
  • Tempera on paper on beech panel
  • Image size: 35.3 x 27.5 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 37.5 x 29.7 cm
  • P545
  • Reserve Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • According to the Gospels Saint Mary Magdalene, a repentant courtesan, was called by Christ whose Crucifixion she witnessed. Later her life-story was elaborated in medieval French legend, which recounted how she passed thirty years in penance, without food or clothing, in a solitary mountain retreat near Sainte-Baume. Seven times a day angels came down and lifted her up to heaven where she saw a vision of the celestial bliss prepared for the repentant sinner. She is traditionally depicted, naked but for her long hair, floating to heaven in a devotional posture with a crown symbolizing her victory over sin and death.