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" One touch of nature

makes all the world kin "

William Shakespeare

Mary Magdalene – Leonardo da Vinci

December 4th, 2008

In researching images for The Book of English Magic I have come across this beautiful painting, which -it is said – may be by Leonardo da Vinci. I can’t find any further clues. Does any reader know more about this painting? (See comments for a detailed reply within 24 hrs! Thank you Carlo!)

Mary Magdalene

15 Responses to “Mary Magdalene – Leonardo da Vinci”

  1. Philip, it is a beautiful piece. I can see that it is Da Vinci like but I wonder if it might be the work of a student of his rather than his own work. It is certainly in his style but there is a depth missing that his works had. The red is incredibly vibrant though and unlike the colors he typically used.. maybe an earlier work? it seems to have a youthful optimism in it that later works didn’t really have despite their beauty.

    Of course that is only my uneducated opinion and it’s based on viewing something on the internet where depth may not be as obvious as it would in person. So as far as “knowing”, I know nothing for sure – just thoughts.

  2. It is included in my catalogue “Leonardo. The European Genius. Paintings and Drawings”, a great Leonardo exhibition held at the Koekelberg Basilica in Brussels in 2007-8 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the European Community. It is attributed to Leonardo with the assistance of a pupil (Giampietrino). The bilingual catalogue (English and French) is published in Florence (Italy) by Cartei & Bianchi, 176 pages with color reproductions and sells for about 40 dollars. I think you can get it from Michael Shamansky, bookseller in New York: mshamans@artbooks.com
    Pom’s comments show a very good perception. He too may find this catalogue helpful.

  3. I read something on the Edgar Cayce (sleeping prophet) website that in one of his readings he says that the closest representation of Mary Magdalene is one done by Leonardo Da Vinci. I believe that this is the painting he spoke of.

  4. This is a great blog, by the way…

    Lovely picture. Interesting that she doesn’t have any of the iconic thingies with which Mary Magdalene is usually depicted: the box or vase of ointment, the red hair, etc.

  5. This is a great blog, by the way…

    Lovely picture. Interesting that she doesn’t have any of the iconic thingies with which Mary Magdalene is usually depicted: the box or vase of ointment, the red hair, etc.

  6. I agree with Pom, Carlo and Nicole’s views about this painting. I believe that both he and another student did it when he was just starting out.

  7. Isn’t the background very similar to that of the Mona Lisa? I wonder what the significance of that is?

  8. This image is now the cover of the latest book by Elizabeth Cunningham in The Maeve Chronicles. The painting is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1515, and is in the private collection of the Rossana and Carlo Pedretti Foundation, in Los Angeles. Beautiful painting…. the art work that Elizabeth Cunningham uses for her books always embodies the ultimate essence of the Magdalen spirit and that of woman.

  9. What concerns me is I sense an element of mockery in this painting, and not the reverence it is supposed to depict. Was Leonardo pulling another fast one on the establishment, I wonder!

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