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

Braque Family Triptych (right wing)

c. 1450
Oil on oak panel, 41 x 34 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The picture shows the right wing of the Braque Family Triptych representing St Mary Magdalene. This is finest panel of the triptych. She sits with her hand resting on the lid of an alabaster vase, about to spread perfume on Jesus's feet. Her face, veiled with a band of gauze, her blond hair hanging down her back in long waves, even the corselet that only partly conceals her bosom - everything about her suggest not a repentant sinner, but a young woman rightly proud of her beauty.

She is tenderly holding the vessel of ointment with which, as the text above reminds us, she anointed the feet of Jesus after moistening them with her tears and drying them with her hair. The text is probably the reason why tears, not entirely suitable to the pictorial context, are running down the Magdalene's face.