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The Dance of St. Mary Magdalen

Lucas van Leyden, Netherlandish (active Leiden), c. 1494 - 1533

Made in Leiden, Netherlands (historical name, 15th-16th century), Europe



Sheet (cut within platemark): 11 5/16 × 15 1/2 inches (28.7 × 39.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Alice Newton Osborn Fund, the Lola Downin Peck Fund, the Print Revolving Fund, and with funds contributed by various donors, 1979

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In a landscape full of captivating detail, the artist has compressed three episodes of Saint Mary Magdalene's exemplary life: in the foreground she promenades at dawn after a night of revelry; in the middle she rides out stag hunting in the midday sun; while in the far distance, outside the mountain cave where she fasted in solitary penitence for the last thirty years of her life, angels lift her heavenward for a celestial feast. In each scene, Mary Magdalene wears a halo to mark her future sainthood.