Mary Magdalene presents ointment to Jesus, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

Mary Magdalene presents ointment to Jesus, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier

1602-04

Part of a set. See all set records

Opaque watercolor, ink, color and gold on paper

Sheet: 26.4 x 15.7 cm (10 3/8 x 6 3/16 in.); Image: 20.5 x 10.3 cm (8 1/16 x 4 1/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.102.b

Fun Fact

Proportions of the portico and pavilion reveal some grasp of Renaissance ideals.

Description

While Jesus dined in the house of a Pharisee he was approached by Mary Magdalene, who threw herself to the ground weeping. Having wetted Jesus’s feet with her tears, she dried them with her hair and then bathed them with expensive ointment. Mary’s veil falls around her shoulders to reveal her hair’s disarray. Only Jesus appears to be calm as he extends his arms in a pacifying gesture; the other men point at their mouths and at each other, astonished at the dramatic behavior of this woman known to have been a prostitute. The plain black carpets and thin application of paint in some areas indicate that this painting is unfinished.

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