MIERIS, Willem van
(b. 1662, Leiden, d. 1747, Leiden)

Penitent Mary Magdalene

c. 1709
Oil on panel, 20 x 16 cm
Private collection

Van Mieris depicts Mary Magdalene with her hair worn down, her soft locks flowing over her bare shoulder and her right breast tantalisingly revealed. This revealing state of undress was a particular iconography associated with Mary Magdalene. The motif of one bare breast was particularly popular in art of the seventeenth-century.