FERRARI, Gaudenzio
(b. ca. 1475, Valduggia, d. 1546, Milano)

Scenes from the Legend of Mary Magdalene: Conversion of the Rulers of Marseilles

Cappella della Maddalena, San Cristoforo, Vercelli

This scene on the lower register of the side wall shows the conversion of the reigning couple of Marseilles. Here the subsidiary scenes extend the narrative.

The siblings Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Lazarus went to Marseilles with Bishop Maximus. In the right background of the fresco they are sen preaching on the steps of the temple; the pagan idol in the temple falls from its column. In the background on the left there are episodes from the story of the conversion of the reigning couple. Mary Magdalene had promised them a child. On a pilgrimage to Rome the wife died in childbirth during a sea storm; her corpse was left behind on an island with the newborn child. In Rome the ruler of Marseilles met Peter and went with him to the Holy Land. Ferrari shows the return of the ruler. His ship docks again on the island, where his son is found alive and his wife is resurrected in response to his prayers. In the middle ground Mary Magdalene, Martha, and Maximus greet the couple on their return to Marseilles. In the foreground Maximus, Mary Magdalene, and their attendants receive the reigning couple into the community with their blessing.