30 Old Master Paintings, Interpreting Mary Magdalene as the "The Penitent Magdalene"

Mary Magdalene is a religious figure in Christianity. Mary Magdalene traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She was present at Jesus' two most important moments: the crucifixion and the resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named at least 12 times - more than most of the apostles.

Friedrich Sturm
The Penitent Magdalene
Porcelain, wood
89.5cm x 64cm
Private collection

Friedrich Sturm, also Fritz Sturm (1823–1898) was an Austrian artist known for his decorative art and paintings of animals and flowers.

Sturm was born in Vienna. He started out as a student of his father, who was a porcelain and enamel painter, and then attended the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. He then went on a study trip to Serbia and Hungary, where he worked as a theatre artist, portrait painter and painter of church art. He turned to fresco painting and specialized as a flower and animal artist. He decorated numerous Viennese buildings with wall and ceiling paintings, and he also painted on silk for the salon of the Empress of Austria. From 1853 to 1859 he sent his pictures to the monthly exhibitions of the Austrian Art Association. With the opening of the Museum of Art and Industry in Vienna in 1868 he became a professor at the associated School of Applied Arts, now the University of Applied Arts, and headed its department of plant, animal and ornament art until 1892. Women were also allowed to take part in his flower painting classes. From 1881 to 1889 he was director of the facility. He was retired due to illness in 1892. He died on 1 November 1898 in Weissenbach an der Triesting. More on Friedrich Sturm

Caravaggio's original Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy 'discovered'
Renaissance masterpiece 'located in private European collection'

The painting refers to the legend in which Mary Magdalene, living as a hermit in a cave in southern France near Aix-en-Provence after Christ's death, was overcome seven times a day by "the delightful harmonies of the celestial choirs" Photo: LA REPUBBLICA

Carl Ferdinand Sohn
Atoning Magdalene, c. 1847
Oil on canvas
57,5 x 74cm 1847
Private collection

Karl Ferdinand Sohn (10 December 1805 in Berlin – 25 November 1867 in Cologne) was a German painter of the Düsseldorf school of painting.

He was born in Berlin and started his studies at the age of eighteen under Wilhelm von Schadow, whom he followed to Düsseldorf. He focused on mythical and poetic subjects of a highly romantic character, and painted in the idealistic manner of the Düsseldorf school.

He visited Italy (1830–1831) and adopted ideas from the works of the Venetians; Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Palma il Vecchio. In 1832, he was named a Professor at the Düsseldorf Academy, where he exercised an important influence.

Later, He painted biblical subjects, and then devoted himself to genre scenes, well characterized and of great coloristic charm. 

At the age of nearly sixty-two Karl Ferdinand Sohn died on 25 November 1867 during a visit to his friend Ferdinand Hiller in Cologne. More on Karl Ferdinand Sohn

Abraham Janssens I  (1575–1632)
Penitent Magdalene,  between 1575 and 1632
Oil on canvas
height: 123 cm (48.4 in); width: 94.5 cm (37.2 in)
Bavarian State Painting Collections,  Schleißheim State Gallery

Abraham Janssens I, Abraham Janssen I or Abraham Janssens van Nuyssen (1575–1632) was a Flemish painter, who is known principally for his large religious and mythological works, which show the influence of Caravaggio. He was the leading history painter in Flanders prior to the return of Rubens from Italy.
Abraham Janssens was born in Antwerp as the son of Jan Janssens and Roelofken van Huysen or Nuyssen.[2] There is some uncertainty regarding his year of birth. He was previously thought to have been born in the year 1567, but it is now more generally assumed that his date of birth was 1575.

Janssens studied under Jan Snellinck and was registered as a pupil in the local Guild of Saint Luke in 1585. He travelled to Italy where he resided mainly in Rome between 1597 and 1602. After returning to his home country he became a master in the Antwerp Guild in the guild year 1601-1602.

In 1607 he became the dean of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke. This is also the time when he received his first major commissions, which initiated the most important period of his career. Until the return of Rubens to Antwerp in 1608, Janssens was considered perhaps the best history painter of his time. After Rubens became the dominant force for large altarpieces in the Antwerp market, Janssens had to find commissions for large monumental works from provincial patrons.

Janssens joined in 1610 the Confrerie of Romanists, a society of Antwerp humanists and artists who had travelled to Rome. The diversity and high positions held by the Confrerie's membership offered him a good opportunity to meet with potential patrons. More on Abraham Janssens the Elder

Bartholomeus Douven  (1691–1726)
Penitent Magdalene, c. 1717
Oil on panel
height: 39.4 cm (15.5 in); width: 48.2 cm (18.9 in)
Private collection

Little is known about the life of Bartholmeus Douven. He was born in Düsseldorf and studied with Adriaen van der Werff. Although he painted historical pictures and portraits, Douven was best known for his rendering of nudes, often in mythological and religious themes, like in this example. The artist Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639) painted a similar composition now in a private collection, New York, which could have served as an inspiration for Douven. Although both place Magdalene in a similar setting, with the motif of a skull, the artists chose to depict her agony in different ways. Orazio tilts her head back in an overly exaggerated way, a testament to the discomfort she feels, while Douven lets her heavy head rest on her hand as if to represent the pain she has to carry. More on Bartholmeus Douven

Louis Jean Francois Lagrenee (French, 1725–1805)
The penitent Madeleine
Oil on canvas
47 x 39 cm. (18.5 x 15.4 in.)
Private collection

Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée (30 December 1724 - 19 June 1805) won the Prix de Rome in 1749 and spent 1750-54 at the Académie de France in Rome. On his return he was appointed a professor of the Académie Royale in Paris. From 1781 to 1785 he was Director of the Académie de France in Rome and the following year was made Recteur of the Académie Royale. Despite his service to the ancien règime, Lagrenée survived the upheavals of the French Revolution and crowned his career by being appointed a curator of the new national museums under Napoleon.
Lagrenée painted historical, mythological and religious works. He combined a slightly sentimental approach to his New Testament subject matter with a classicising style.

Like Joseph-Marie Vien and Jean-Baptiste Greuze, he turned away from mid-century rococo towards an early neoclassical manner characterised by cool colours, smooth technique and simple, refined composition. Lagrenée won important patrons both in France and abroad.

Lagrenée’s own manuscript, Livre de raison (Bibliothèque Doucet, University of Paris, gives an unusually detailed list of his paintings and patrons. He died in Paris in 1805. His brother Jean-Jacques Lagrenée (1739-1821), a history painter who became artistic director of the Manufacture de Sèvres, was his pupil.
The work of Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée is represented in the Louvre, Paris; the Petit Trianon, Versailles; the Château of Fontainebleau; the Hôtel de Ville, Dijon; Stourhead, Wiltshire and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe. More on Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée

Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) 
(Italian, about 1487 - 1576)
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
Date: 1555 - 1565
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 108.3 x 94.3 cm (42 5/8 x 37 1/8 in.)

These paintings of a repentant Mary Magdalene lifting her teary eyes to heaven were meant to inspire a greater spiritual devotion, at a time when Catholicism was being challenged by the Protestant reformation. 

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. 
Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars", Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.
During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone are without precedent in the history of Western painting. More on Titian

Giovanni Battista Pittoni
The Penitent Magdalene, c. 1740
Oil on canvas
48 x 38 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Images of Mary Magdalene, the fallen woman whom Jesus found worthy to redeem and who would spend the rest of her life in solitude to atone for her sins, were especially prevalent during the Counter-Reformation, a period of devout Catholicism that lasted from approximately 1540 to 1640.

Giambattista Pittoni or Giovanni Battista Pittoni (6 June 1687 - 6 November 1767) was a Venetian painter of the late Baroque or Rococo period. He was among the founders of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice , of which in 1758 he became the second president, succeeding Tiepolo.

Pittoni studied under his uncle Francesco Pittoni, a well-known but undistinguished painter of the Venetian Baroque. 

Pittoni joined the Fraglia of the Venetian Painters, the Venetian guild of painters, in 1716. From, probably, the same year until his death he was a member of the College of Painters, of which he became prior in 1729.  He was elected to the Clementine Academy of Bologna in 1727. In 1750 he was one of the forty-six members of the Veneta Publish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, which later became the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice ; from 1758 to 1760 he succeeded Tiepoloas president of the academy, and was elected for a second term in 1763–64. More on Giambattista Pittoni

Donato Creti
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
Size: 24” inches wide by 29” inches high 
I have no further description, at this time

Donato Creti (24 February 1671 – 31 January 1749) was an Italian painter of the Rococo period, active mostly in Bologna.

Born in Cremona, he moved to Bologna, where he was a pupil of Lorenzo Pasinelli. He is described by Wittkower as the "Bolognese Marco Benefial", in that his style was less decorative and edged into a more formal neoclassical style. It is an academicized grand style, that crystallizes into a manneristic neoclassicism, with crisp and frigid modeling of the figures. Among his followers were Aureliano Milani, Francesco Monti, and Ercole Graziani the Younger. Two other pupils were Domenico Maria Fratta and Giuseppe Peroni. More on Donato Creti

Agostino Carracci
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

Ippolito Borghese
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

(after) Francesco Trevisani
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

Guido Reni 1635
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
Style: Baroque
Technique: oil
Material: canvas
Dimensions: 74.3 x 90.8 cm

Georges de la Tour c. 1635
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

Andrea Vaccaro
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

Angelo Caroselli 1620
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
c. 1615-16
Oil on canvas
0.657m by 0.508m

Giacomo Galli
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
between 1620 and 1640
Height: 133 cm (52.4 in). Width: 98.7 cm (38.9 in).

Mateo Cerezo (1637–1666)

 "The Penitent Magdalene" 

The Penitent Magdalene, c. 1594–1595
Oil on canvas
122.5 cm × 98.5 cm (48.2 in × 38.8 in)
Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome

Penitent Magdalene (also called Repentant Madalene) is a 16th-century oil on canvas. The painting portrays a repentant Mary Magdalene, bowed over in penitent sorrow as she leaves behind her dissolute life, its trappings abandoned beside her. At the time of its completion, ca. 1594–1595, the painting was unconventional for its contemporary realism and departure from traditional Magdalene iconography. It has invited both criticism and praise, with speculation even into the 21st century as to Caravaggio's intentions. The work hangs in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome. More on this painting

Artemisia Lomi
c. 1617-1620.
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
Oil on canvas.
1.465m by 1.08m

Georges de La Tour (French, Vic-sur-Seille 1593–1653 Lunéville)
Date: ca. 1640
 "The Penitent Magdalene" 
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 52 1/2 x 40 1/4 in. (133.4 x 102.2 cm

Workshop of Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called il Guercino (Cento 1591-1666 Bologna)
The Penitent Magdalen 
oil on canvas
85.9 x 104.5cm (33 13/16 x 41 1/8in).

Circle of Francesco Trevisani (Capo d'Istria 1656-1746 Rome)
The Penitent Magdalen 
oil on canvas
85.1 x 70.5cm (33 1/2 x 27 3/4in).

Emile Zola

Anglo-Flemish School, early 18th Century
The Penitent Magdalen 
Oil on canvas
92.4 x 70cm (36 3/8 x 27 9/16in).

Jan Thomas van Yperen (Ypres 1617-1678 Vienna)
The Penitent Magdalen
signed and dated 'Thomas fecit 1656' (lower left)
oil on canvas
86.1 x 69.8cm (33 7/8 x 27 1/2in).

Follower of Cesare da Sesto (Sesto Calende 1477-1523 Milan)
The Penitent Magdalen
oil on canvas
91.4 x 71.1cm (36 x 28in).

Marcantonio Franceschini
BOLOGNA 1648 - 1729
oil on canvas
51.4 by 64.9 cm.; 20 1/8 by 25 5/8 in.

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