A sinner, perhaps a courtesan, Mary Magdalen was a witness of Christ who renounced the pleasures of the flesh for a life of penance and contemplation. Penitent Magdalene or Penitent Magdalen refers to a post-biblical period in the life of Mary Magdalene, according to medieval legend.
According to the tenets of the 17th–century Catholic church, Mary Magdalene was an example of the repentant sinner and consequently a symbol of the Sacrament of Penance. According to legend, Mary led a dissolute life until her sister Martha persuaded her to listen to Jesus Christ. She became one of Christ’s most devoted followers and he absolved her of her former sins. More on The Penitent Magdalen
Francisco Rizi, or Francisco Ricci de Guevara (9 April 1614–2 August 1685) was a Spanish painter of Italian ancestry.
He was born in Madrid. His father, Antonio Ricci, was an Italian painter, originally from Ancona, who had come to Spain in 1583 to do decorative work at El Escorial. His brother, Juan, also became a painter. After beginning his apprenticeship in his father’s workshop, he studied with Vicente Carducho, who was also of Italian origin.