Saint Mary MagdaleneView Fullscreen
Domenico Tintoretto, Penitent Magdalene, 1598-1602, oil on canvas, Capitoline Museums, Rome
"Mary Magdalene" is most likely a composite of at least two figures: the woman who annointed the feet of Jesus, and the sister of Martha. According to tradition she was a prostitute who asked Jesus to forgive her sins, then washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and annointed them with ointment. She was also one of the first people to visit Jesus's tomb, and thus one of the first to see him risen.
She appears in many important scenes, including the Crucifixion and Noli Me Tangere.
She is depicted elegantly dressed (often in red), partially clothed, or nude, depending on whether it is a representation of her life before her convension, or her penitent life as a hermit. Other attributes of the Penitent Magdalene not seen here include a scourge, book, hourglass, and candle.