Artemisia Gentileschi 1593 – 1656

Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy

oil on canvas (81 × 105 cm) — c. 1620
private collection

Artemisia Gentileschi biography

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A legend claims that after Jesus' death, Mary Magdalene ended up in the south of France. She lived in a cave and had mystic daily meetings with God, apart from thinking about her sins.

Her experiences were traditionally depicted with angels carrying her into the clouds. But in the days of Artemisia Gentileschi they were also shown as intense inner experiences, following an influential painting by Caravaggio.

The painting is not dated. The visible influence of Caravaggio in the use of light and darkness suggests Artemisia made it in the first half of her career.

It was presented at an auction in 2014.

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