SCOREL, Jan van
(b. 1495, Schoorl, d. 1562, Utrecht)

Mary Magdalen

c. 1530
Oil on oak panel, 66 x 76 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Scorel travelled all over Germany, and into Italy, went to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, arrived back in Venice in 1521, made his fortune by being in Rome at the right moment to be practically the only artist patronized by the Dutch pope Hadrian VI, came back to Utrecht full of the influences of Giorgione, Palma Vecchio, Raphael and Michelangelo, and later went to France.

Scorel was the first Renaissance artist in the Netherlands. He depicted Mary Magdalen as a Venetian courtesan seen through the eyes of a Netherlandish artist who had mastered the imitation of materials. He placed her in the mountains of southern France to which the converted prostitute supposedly retreated in later life.

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