Mary Magdalene

Carlo Dolci

  • Mary Magdalene 2
  • Mary Magdalene 3
  • Mary Magdalene 4
  • Mary Magdalene 5
  • Mary Magdalene 6
Basic information
Carlo Dolci
Mary Magdalene
Date of creation
17th c.
oil painting
canvas oil
Dimensions (height x width, cm)
76 x 61.5
Information about author
Carlo Dolci
Artist's lifetime
Carlo Dolci was the most popular Florentine painter of the 17th century. He gained recognition and fame at the Ducal de Medici court and throughout Europe. Being the son of a tailor, he began his studies in the studio of Jacopo Vignali, where he combined his teacher's emotional style with the vibrant colour of the Florentine school of painting. Carlo Dolci was a deeply religious man. According to Filippo Baldinucci, the artist devoted himself exclusively to religious painting. However, the master repeatedly executed portraits and still lifes commissioned by his noble patrons. His elegant style differed from the Italian paintings of the time. It demonstrated the direct influence of the Dutch masters, whom the artist most likely studied from the collection of the de Medici family. He also created numerous original replicas of the most famous works.
Object description
The image of Mary Magdalene as a sinner, who was forgiven because of her devotion to Christ, was widespread among all social strata of the 17th century. The artist painted the saint with long flowing hair, implying she was a loose woman. She is dressed in a typical outfit – a cilice and a red cloak that loosely wraps around her body. She is holding a skull and looking at it intently, deep in thought. Numerous replicas and copies of this painting attest to the success and popularity of the composition. The Lviv painting is most likely a recreation of the workshop, as its pictorial manner is much inferior to Carlo Dolci's well-detailed works.