Spinello Aretino
St. Mary Magdalene

1395-1400
Tempera on canvas, gold ground, 69½ x 47¼ in. (176.5 x 120 cm.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 13.175. Gift of the family of Francis M. Bacon, 1914.

According to this picture's label at the museum, the hooded figures at the bottom are members of the confraternity that commissioned this canvas for use in their processions. The two nearest us have Mary Magdalene's alabaster jar embroidered on their sleeves. The jar itself is in her right hand; in her left, the crucifix refers to her life as a contemplative. The angel musicians refer to the angelic song that served as her sole nourishment for the thirty years she spent in her desert cell.

More of St. Mary Magdalene

Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.