In this painting, the repentant Mary Magdalene is shown with bare breasts and clasped hands, holding a skull to her body. On the left an Oriental old woman in a turban bows and offers her vessels made of gold, symbols of temptation. The saint’s rich clothing additionally hints at her sinful past. The skull similarly offers a vanitas reminder of the futility of such worldly pleasures. However, the Magdalene averts herself and turns to her left towards an angel, who gently takes her by the arm, at the same time offering a palm frond, which symbolises the heavenly reward that awaits the repentant sinner. More on this painting
Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle” rivals even Peter’s.
She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.
Ideas that go beyond the gospel presentation of Mary Magdalene as a prominent representative of the women who followed Jesus have been put forward over the centuries.
During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four canonical gospels. More Mary Magdalene
Johann Liss (c. 1590 or 1597–1629 or 1630) was a leading German Baroque painter of the 17th century, active mainly in Venice. Liss was born in Oldenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. After an initial education in his home state, he continued his studies with Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem and Amsterdam. Around 1620 he travelled through Paris to Venice. He moved to Rome around 1620–1622, and his first works there were influenced by the style of Caravaggio.
Although his earlier work was concerned with the contrasts of light and shadow, his final move to Venice in the early 1620s modified his style and gave impetus to brilliant color and a spirited treatment of the painted surface. In 1627, he was created an admired large altarpiece, the Inspiration of Saint Jerome in San Nicolò da Tolentino. His loose brushstrokes seem precursor to rococo styles of the Guardi brothers.This final style, along with that of other “foreign” painters residing in Venice, Domenico Fetti and Bernardo Strozzi, represent the first inroads of Baroque style into the republic.
His legacy is as a painter of both sensuous mythological and pious biblical subjects, a master of colors and Baroque painting. He was most influential to Venetian 18th-century painters like Sebastiano Ricci, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Giovanni Piazzetta. More on Johann Liss
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