Benedetto Buglioni, Saint Mary Magdalene penitent

Buglioni, Benedetto
Sala della Maddalena
Terracotta, pigments, enamel
Modelling, painting, glazing
Height: 74,5 cm; Width: 145 cm; Thickness: 18 cm;

Glazed polychrome terracotta lunette of St Mary Magdalene. Attributed to Benedetto Buglioni, an artist with close links to Della Robbia’s school, it dates back to the early 16th century. No clue has yet emerged as to the original position of this work, but given its shape, it must have been set over an architectural feature, such as a door. The saint is shown with long, thick hair and a coarse mantle of pelts against a harsh landscape of steep cliffs, bearing a strong resemblance to Donatello’s famous statue of Mary Magdalene, on exhibition in the same room. According the Christian tradition this disciple of Christ lived out the last years of her life in the wilderness, fasting and praying. Her cult was sometimes confused with that of Saint Mary of Egypt, another hermit, who is also portrayed as emaciated by her fasting and penances and cloaked solely in her own hair.

Discover the other artworks

Sala della Maddalena