20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

Open today

Art & Design

Lippo Memmi, Mary Magdalene, ca. 1330, Museum Appropriation Fund

On View

Lippo Memmi

Mary Magdalene

Lippo Memmi
Italian, Active 1317- ca. 1350
ca. 1330
Mary Magdalene
Tempera and gold on panel
49.5 x 22.5 cm (19 1/2 x 8 7/8 inches)
Museum Appropriation Fund 21.250

This small panel depicting Mary Magdalene holding a jar of ointment was originally part of an altarpiece from a Franciscan church in Colle di Val d’Esta, near Siena. Memmi’s highly refined drawing and soft, clear color are characteristics of a style of painting that flourished in 14th century Siena, building on the rhythmic lines found in the works of Duccio and further emphasizing naturalism and movement. The scale and shape of the Magdalene panel suggest it had been a pinnacle segment, once situated in a polyptych whose two-tiered wings flanked a central image of the Madonna and Child. Figures in both levels were portrayed against a gold ground, holding identifying attributes. Other components of the Colle Val d’Esta altarpiece have been identified in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, and elsewhere. Stylistically linked to the Magdalene, they also bear similar decorative punchmark patterns in the halos and in the periphery of the panels.

Also from European Galleries

Previous Next

Other Paintings

Previous Next