Le Donne di Firenze #1: Mary Magdalena

Mary Magdalene the Penitent, wood, Donatello, 1453-1455.

Carved of white poplar in 1453-1455, the statue was originally at least partly polychrome and gilded. Its realism was startling.

Probably carved for the baptistry in Florence, it is now in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

Apparently, medieval iconography of Mary Magdalene mixed her with that of other Mary’s, including St. Mary of Egypt, who spent 30 years in the desert. This may have influenced Donatello’s work.

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