Catalog of the Fine Arts Collection

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After Carlo Dolci (1616-1686), Italian
The Magdalene, undated copy
OIL ON CANVAS, 30 x 24 ½ inches
Gift of Mrs. Theodora Willard Best

The original version of this work was painted during the 166os and is in the collection of the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy. The tenor of the painting is typical of Dolci's later career, as his paintings became more overtly instructive in purpose, modeling behavior for the viewer. Here, Mary Magdalene is shown with the alabaster pot of ointment that, according to the Bible, she used to anoint Jesus' feet in humble penitence. She looks heavenward for guidance with her hand over her heart, a sign of the love that induced Jesus to forgive her sins.


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