What Is Penitent Magdalene

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks (Plutarch). The art Penitent Magdalene was painted by Tintoretto between 1598 and 1602. Tintoretto used loose brush work and vibrant colors. The painting Penitent Magdalene shows a woman looking up at the heavens and reveals a biblical moment in the life of Mary Magdalene.

I can obverse a female that fills a one third of the frame. The negative space has an intense black bold color, with a little tint in the art, that inspire darkness and a dramatic feeling. The human skull on the ground gives a vivid sentiment of a deadly atmosphere, that guilt the woman. There is a bright, shiny light that penetrates the darkness, creating a contrast in the painting. The lady is frame by a semi-circle full moon, side by a vertical and horizontal alignment cross and a circular pan. The women’s elbows are set in symmetry with the squares overlapping each other in the triangular mat that is on here leg. looking at the moon I can acknowledge that the artist is creating an illusion of depth. I can also observe the light from an unknown source glowing toward the woman illuminating her left muscular arm, and her face that look smooth and innocent. The man on the cross, half naked, clearly illustrates Jesus on the cross and the light shiny above that has been state as numerous seen by the Bible, where by God convey a message. By this hypothesis, I can presume the open book will be refer to as the holy bible. The woman shaded hands and heart-rending look in her eyes, give the impression she is seeking forgiveness from God. The art is a juxtaposition of divinity and evil.

This is one of Tintoretto famous painting about religion he named “The penitent Magdalene”, it succeeded numerous other painting of Mary Magdalene, all interpreting the different ideas they had about her life. Tintoretto painting are about biblical stories and this painting was one of his art that was used in the decoration of the church of Madonna dell ‘Orto. Mary Magdalene was a historical figure that played a roll in the life of Jesus, she was one of the twelve of Jesus’s disciple and was said to be “one of the women who were supporting Jesus’s ministry financially” (Casey 198). She also was one of the witness to Jesus’s crucifixion and burial. She was also present at Jesus empty tomb ,in the bible according to John 20:1-10, ” Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone when it was still dark and saw that the stone had already been rolled away”(Hinkle 446).

In this painting Tintoretto presented his idea on the post biblical life of Marry Magdalene and shows a lot of key symbols that demonstrated that she was holy but always she had a dark past. The painter also try to make us understand the indirect relationship she had with God through Jesus.

Work cited page

  1. Tintoretto, Domenico. The Penitent Magdalen,1597
  2. “Shamanism”. Wikipedia, The free Cyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation, Inc
  3. 10 September 2018.
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