(b. ca. 1386, Firenze, d. 1466, Firenze)

St Mary Magdalene (detail)

c. 1457
Polychrome wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence

The penitent Magdalene's sunken eyes, broken teeth and bony hands all emphasize the exhausted ascetic appearance that Donatello wanted to produce. Her skin, which has been tanned and dried by the elements, together with her high cheekbones and long hair, suggest her once legendary beauty and sensuousness.