Friday, March 9, 2012

A Penitent Sinner

Despite Mary Magdalene isn’t mentioned much in the Bible and the Vatican decided in recent years that she wasn’t a prostitute, her image stays with this fame. It’s not even sure that it was always “Mary Magdalene” when it is spoken of her in the Gospels or the Gnostic writings. There are so many Marys, that it may even be that characteristics from various real women had been formed up the myth of Mary Magdalene. But anyway this is about images and there Mary Magdalene is really important.

In art it is usually assumed that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, which means a beautiful but sinful woman with fancy clothes and long opulent hair.

Later when she became one of Jesus' most fervent disciples she removed her gaudy clothes and dressed in a humble white frock. And most important she repented her former sinful live. So she became the icon of a penitent sinner, especially a penitent woman, a symbol of repentance for the vanities of the world.

Mary Magdalene (c. 1565) by the Italian Renaissance Titian (also Tiziano Vecellio) (c. 1485-1576). Here are already depicted most of the important signs characterizing Mary Magdalene. A beautiful, seductive woman with a barely covered breast, long hair. But she’s praying for salvation and she has a book, meaning THE book.

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