The Wallace Collection

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The Conversion of Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Hippolyte (Paul) Delaroche (1797 - 1856)
  • The Conversion of Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Italy
  • c. 1834 - 1835
  • Painting
  • Oil on millboard
  • Object size: 20 x 42.5 cm
    Image size: 18.7 x 41.8 cm, painted area
    with frame, Object size: 35 x 57 x 5 cm
  • P596
  • West Gallery III
Further Reading
  • One of six oil studies, produced by Delaroche, 1834-5, in preparation for his commission to provide murals for the church of the Madeleine, Paris. The commission was not carried out because Delaroche withdrew after part of the scheme was allocated for political reasons to Jules-Claude Ziegler. Mary is shown being taken by her sister Martha to hear Jesus preach at the Temple. Overcome by his words, she is converted and abandons the dissolute life she has led up to then. The subject is taken from western legend and does not appear in the Gospels. Delaroche's composition is heavily indebted to Raphael's 'St. Paul at Athens' (London, Victoria & Albert Museum; on loan from the Royal Collection).