LE BRUN, Charles
(b. 1619, Paris, d. 1690, Paris)

The Repentant Magdalen

1655
Oil on canvas, 252 x 171 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

From 1653 to 1657, Le Brun painted a number of canvases for the Carmelite convent on rue Saint-Jacques in Paris (demolished in 1797), among them the Repentant Magdalen. In this remarkable work, the stocky Magdalen is seated in a bizarre interior with folds of an enormous drapery piled inexplicably on a valanced chair, looking up towards the cloudy sky.