MASTER of Moulins
(active 1480-1500)

Mary Magdalen and a Donator

Panel, 56 x 40 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

With certain variations the arrangement of the present picture is a repetition of the wings of the Moulins triptych and is, presumably, the wing of a lost altarpiece. The unknown donor and the Magdalen, wearing the magnificent clothes of the period, are placed in a room with a checkered stone floor. The somewhat fleshy, not too attractive, face of the donor, her hair shaved high above her forehead, rises above a brown-red robe, with a rich brooch at the neck and an impressive gold chain decorating her bosom. A cameo is suspended from the string of pearls on her belt. St Mary Magdalen, the patron saint, holds her vase of ointment in her left hand and points with the right to the lady, kneeling in an attitude of prayer. The yellow silk cap of the saint is adorned with ropes of pearls, the sleeves of her bodice are blue, the bodice itself of red-blue brocade, and the mantle green. The Magdalen's features are finely drawn, with delicate nose and lips; both of the women's faces are painted in a portrait technique, the donor's being more strongly characterized. The painter's gift for portraiture is excellently displayed in this picture and so is his sense of lucid and harmonious composition and his feeling for colour.

It is assumed that the donor is Madeleine de Bourgogne

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.