Saint Mary Magdalene

Simão Rodrigues and Domingos Vieira Serrão1611-1620 A.D.

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro
Coimbra, Portugal

Painting representing Saint Mary Magdalene secluded in a cave that on the right side, allows foreseeing the exterior, through the clouds over a blue sky. The Saint personalizes the sorrow and penitence, suggesting the meditation away from the world. On her right hand she holds a skull, symbol of the secular values; she gently holds her long face on her left hand, while looking towards the observer. By her side stands the vase of perfumes that might be used to anoint the feet of Christ. Her dense wig, described by the Holy Scriptures, loose and falls over her shoulders and her back, but doesn't hide her nudity. Her right arm forms a symmetrical diagonal with the contour of the cave's entrance. The light pointing strongly on the face of Magdalene, enhances the perfection of the lines and pearly face, highlighting her from the shadow of the background.


  • Title: Saint Mary Magdalene
  • Creator: Simão Rodrigues, Domingos Vieira Serrão
  • Date Created: 1611-1620 A.D.
  • Location Created: Machado de Castro National Museum, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 65.3 cm x 73 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Photo: DGPC/ADF - Photographic Documentation Archive
  • Medium: Oil painting on canvas

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