Juan Correa was an active member of the guild of painters at the end of the XVIIth century, heading one of the most productive art workshops. This work depicts Mary Magdalene, one of the religious characters who most effectively attested to the virtues of penitence and repentance. In medieval Western imagery, three characters were united in her figure -the Mary Magdalene who witnessed the crucifixion, Mary of Bethany, the sister of the resuscitated Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene, the repentant sinner who anointed Christ’s feet with precious ointment. Correa used a symmetrical diagonal axis to split the scene into two halves, each one depicting the saint at important moments in her life; on the left, represented in a closed place which reflects her inward psychological state, she appears to have suffered and resigned herself to giving up material things as represented by the jewels scattered all over the floor, with the pearls symbolizing both repentant tears and the aberrations of lust, while the flask of perfume is open ready to receive the essence of God and the mirror serves as a metaphor for the contemplative life. To the right, she is shown inside a grotto in a garden, accompanied by items that remind us of the vapidity of human life - a skull, a book and a crucifix, pertaining to the class of objects known as vanitates. Her meditative bearing and expression speak of the virtue that comes from a life of penitence. This work was acquired by the Mexican Ministry of Tax and Revenues in 1929, and donated by the latter to the San Carlos Academy. It formed part of the founding endowment of the MUNAL, having been given to the latter by the San Diego Viceregal Painting Gallery in 1982.