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Opaque watercolor, ink, color and gold on paper
Sheet: 26.4 x 15.7 cm (10 3/8 x 6 3/16 in.); Image: 20.5 x 10.3 cm (8 1/16 x 4 1/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2005.145.102.b
Proportions of the portico and pavilion reveal some grasp of Renaissance ideals.
While Jesus dined in the house of a Pharisee he was approached by Mary Magdalene, who threw herself to the ground weeping. Having wetted Jesus’s feet with her tears, she dried them with her hair and then bathed them with expensive ointment. Mary’s veil falls around her shoulders to reveal her hair’s disarray. Only Jesus appears to be calm as he extends his arms in a pacifying gesture; the other men point at their mouths and at each other, astonished at the dramatic behavior of this woman known to have been a prostitute. The plain black carpets and thin application of paint in some areas indicate that this painting is unfinished.
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