WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)

Crucifixion Triptych (left wing)

c. 1445
Oil on oak panel, 101 x 35
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The left wing represents Mary Magdalene.

The very emotional motif of the Virgin Mary embracing the cross is seldom shown; this dramatic reaction is usually reserved for Mary Magdalene. The Magdalene, however, has assumed a different role here: she stands to the left, entirely withdrawn into herself, more a separate figure than a participant in the event depicted. Curiously, she appears as a matron of fairly advanced years, while Veronica, also isolated in the other wing of the altarpiece, looks more like a Magdalene.