(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)
Mary Magdalen in Penitence1580-85
Oil on canvas, 108 x 87 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
The Penitent Magdalen is one of the most recurrent themes. She and Saint Veronica, both close to Christ and His Passion, are the only female Saints El Greco treated. A comparison with the Saint Sebastian indicates a somewhat later dating. An earlier version, signed, of identical pose, is in the Art Museum, Worcester, U.S.A.; and one of the final representations is the ecstatic Magdalene in the Valdés Collection, Bilbao. The painting is based on a Titian type, although there is no record that he portrayed the Saint before he moved to Spain.