Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy

oil on canvas (106 × 91 cm) — 1606
private collection

Caravaggio biography

An old story has it that Mary Magdalene ended up in the south of France after Jesus had died. She lived in a cave, where she sought penitence for her sins. She also underwent mystical experiences, including meetings with God.

Traditional depictions would show angels carrying Mary into the clouds. Caravaggio chose to show the event as an intense inner experience, almost erotic.

Several copies of this painting exist. This one is in a private collection in Rome. In 2014 an Italian art historian claimed she had found the original painting, also owned by a private collector.

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