Andrea Solari, (1460–1524)
Mary Magdalen, circa 1524
Oil on panel
DH: 29 3/4 x W: 23 5/16 x Approx. D: 1 in. (75.5 x 59.2 x 2.5 cm)
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
Mary Magdalene went to anoint Christ’s dead body, only to discover that he was resurrected. She is shown here transferring the ointment from a maiolica pharmacy jar to a smaller vessel.
According to Church, Mary Magdalene was a sinful woman, who upon meeting Christ repented her former ways. She was present at the Crucifixion and later went to anoint Christ’s dead body, only to discover that he was resurrected. As in this painting, the Magdalene is often depicted as a great beauty with long golden hair. She is shown here transferring the ointment from a maiolica pharmacy jar to a smaller vessel. The artist has represented the Magdalene in a style influenced by the works of Leonardo da Vinci, particularly in the subtle “sfumato” technique that invisibly blends light and shade and make contours appear soft. More on this painting
Andrea Solari (also Solario) (1460–1524) was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Milanese school. He was initially named Andre del Gobbo, but more confusingly as Andrea del Bartolo a name shared with two other Italian painters, the 14th Century Siennese Andrea di Bartolo, and the 15th Century Florentine Andrea di Bartolo.
His paintings can be seen in Venice, Milan, The Louvre and the Château de Gaillon (Normandie, France). One of his better-known paintings is the Virgin of the Green Cushion (c. 1507) in the Louvre
Solario was one of the most important followers of Leonardo da Vinci, and brother of Cristoforo Solari, who gave him his first training. In 1490 he accompanied his brother to Venice, where he seems to have been strongly influenced by Antonello da Messina, who was then active in the city. The two brothers returned to Milan in 1493. The Ecce Homo at the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, notable for its strong modelling, may have been painted soon after his arrival.
In 1507 Andrea Solari went to France with letters of introduction to the Cardinal of Amboise, and was employed for two years on frescoes in the chapel of his castle of Gaillon in Normandy.
Andrea’s last work was an altarpiece representing The Assumption of the Virgin, left unfinished at his death and completed by Bernardino Campi about 1576. More on Andrea Solari
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