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28 February 2009

Limoux Mary Magdalene


Mary Magdalene (17th c.). Limoux. Image courtesy of Rennes-le-Chateau Research.

In a recent interview with Radio Rennessence author Kathleen McGowan mentions the above painting. According to the website, it
. . . was found in a private house in Limoux. It depicts her with her eyes closed, leaning on a skull covered in a bright red mantle. Besides her stands something that looks like the Grail or an urn with a bearded head depicted on it. Based on the view, French researchers concluded this scene depicts an actual grotto in Mount Cardou.

SOURCE: "Interview with Kathleen McGowan," Radio Rennessence (22 Feb 2009).

Tomb of Christ?


Image on a Reliquary kept in la Sainte-Baume. Courtesy of Rennes-le-Chateau Research.

In his book, La Tombe Perdue (The Lost Tomb), Christian Doumergue asks the question, "Was the body of Christ laid to rest in Southern France?" In the image above, the boat carrying Mary Magdelene into Southern France is also apparently carrying a body wrapped in linens facing Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mary Magdalen taken up in the air

Mary Magdalen taken up in the air (c. 1605). Giovanni Lanfranco. Galleria Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples. Image courtesy of Mary Magdalen: Later Life in Provence.

Vie de la Magdalene (Paris, B.N., ms. fr. 24.955)

An informative doctoral thesis by Barbara J. Johnston describes and analyses the Life of the Magdalene written by Franciscan priest François Demoulins de Rochefort and illuminator Godefroy le Batave for Louise of Savoy (1476-1531), mother of Francis I of France.

Abstract
Table of Contents
Chapters 1-3
Chapters 4-6
Catalogue of the Vie de la Magdalene
Folios 1r-31r
Folios 31v-61r
Folios 61v-91r
Folios 91v-108v
Figures 1-30
Figures 31-60
Figures 61-80, Bibliography

25 February 2009

Martin Luther on Mary Magdalene

In commenting on Psalm 119, Luther is speaking of love. He says, “How great is this ardor, which forces her not only to call but to cry out with the whole heart!”

Then he proceeds to use Mary Magdalene as an example. “She will easily teach you what the ardors and emotions in the words of this octonary [the eight words under consideration] are. For they can very well be adapted to her, since she also came beforehand at the dawn and with untimely haste and cried and called to her husband [Emphasis mine] much more wonderfully in spirit than in body.

But I think she alone might easily explain the Song of Songs. She contains wonderful mysteries in herself according to the story written in the Gospel concerning the resurrection. “Hear me, O Lord,” namely, by sending Christ and His grace and Gospel. This what I long for with crying.”

SOURCE: Luther’s Works, American Edition, Vol. 11, pp. 509-510. See also Jeffrey Bütz, "Martin Luther and Mary Magdalene," The Jesus Police (Retrieved 26 February 2009).

16 February 2009

More Tissot

After searching some more I discovered these additional Magdalene paintings by Tissot at the Brooklyn Museum site.


Madeleine répentante (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Le parfum de Madeleine (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Jésus à Bethanie, Marie, Madeleine et Marthe (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Jésus pleura (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Ce que voyait Notre-Seigneur sur la Croix (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.

Le tremblement de terre (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Consommatum est (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


La mort de Jésus (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


La descent de croix (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Le corps de Jésus porté à la pierre de l'onction (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.



Les deux Maries observent le tombeau (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Madeleine et les saintes femmes au tombeau (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Madeleine dans le tombeau interroge les anges (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Apparition de Jésus à Madeleine (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Noli me tangere (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.


Madeleine court au cénacle et avertit les apôtres que le corps de Jésus n'est plus dans le tombeau (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.

15 February 2009

Mary Magdalene Before Conversion by James Tissot


Madeleine avant sa conversion (1886-1894). James Tissot. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. Image courtesy of Brooklyn Museum.

James Tissot (1836-1902) was a French artist who is probably best known for his over 700 illustrations of scenes from the Bible. Wikipedia states the following:


He disappeared from Paris, . . . and went to Palestine. In 1896 the series of 350 drawings of incidents in the life of Christ was exhibited in Paris, and the following year found them on show in London. They were then published by the firm of Lemercier in Paris, who had paid him 1,100,000 francs for them. (Over 500 related drawings, watercolors and oils are now in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum.) . . .

The merits of Tissot's Bible illustrations lay rather in the care with which he studied the details of scenery than in any quality of religious emotion. He seemed to aim, above all, at accuracy, and, in his figures, at a vivid realism, which was far removed from the conventional treatment of sacred types.

One can see this in the period realism of Magdalene's attire.

07 February 2009

Magdalene Reading

The website, Bible Paintings, has the painting of The Magdalene Reading below by Ambrosius Benson (1495-1550). The site makes no mention, however, of the wedding band noticeable on the ring finger of her left hand.


The Magdalen Reading (c. 1525). Ambrosius Benson. National Gallery, London. Image courtesy of Bible Paintings.

Margaret Starbird further notes that:
Interesting in these paintings by Benson is also the fact that Mary is wearing the gauzy headdress worn by women of the period (especially in Italy, Benson's birthplace). The veil-like headpiece is called a "guarnello" and was worn by women who were either pregnant or newmothers. The "Mona Lisa" ("La Gioconda") has recently been shown to be wearing this same garment--and her portrait is known to have been painted to celebrate the birth of her second son. The Ambrogio Altarpiece painted by Botticelli in 1490 shows M Magdalene wearing a gauzy veil as well, as do numerous other painting of the period.
SOURCE: "Re: Magdalene Reading (with wedding ring)," The Magdalene Line (25 Jan 2009).

Benson also produced two other Magdalene works, though neither is as intriguing as the one above. Both, however, show her wearing the guarnello. In the second one she is also reading a book and is wearing a ring on the pinkie finger of her left hand. It almost appears to be connected to the fabric that surrounds her book.


Mary Magdalene. Ambrosius Benson. Groeninge Museum, Bruges. Courtesy of Web Gallery of Art.


Mary Magdalene (c. 1530). Ambrosius Benson. Galleria Franchetti, Ca' d'Oro, Venice. Courtesy of Web Gallery of Art.

02 February 2009

The Life and Death of Mary Magdalene

The Internet Archive contains the following metrical setting of Mary's life dated c. 1620. Lines 31-32 are of some interest as they mention "Mary" and "Marys sonne."
Poore, silly sheapheard-swaines ! eu'n such am I : 25
(Farre bee prœsumption from an humble minde !)
I will not, (oh, I dare not,) soare too highe,
Least hee, that all enlightens, strike mee blinde :
Sooth, this is all I craue, to be refind, 29'
So to endite a laye with siluer pen,
Of Mary, and of Marys sonne : and then
Her life, his loue declare, her loue, and life agen. 32
SOURCE: Thomas Robinson, The Life and Death of Mary Magdalene: A Legendary Poem in Two Parts, ed. H. Oskar Sommer (London: Early English Text Society, 1899), p. 10