St. Mary Magdalene

Bartolommeo Bulgarini, Saint Mary Magdalen, circa 1350–1360. Tempera painting on lindenwood panel, gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation., Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina.

Bulgarini was born into a wealthy family in the Tuscan city of Siena and emerged as a dominant artistic personality there after the 1348 wave of the plague. He directed a large workshop that helped define the Sienese style of painting (Siena School, circa 1300/1310–1378). This Mary Magdalene panel once flanked the central panel of a poliptych—a hinged, multi-panel artwork—for an altar given to an Augustinian monastery. One of Bulgarini’s signature features is the semicircular arch over Mary’s head that encloses five smaller semicircles.

Bartolommeo Bulgarini, Saint Mary Magdalen, circa 1350–1360.

A person deemed holy by a religious tradition, especially in Roman Catholicism.

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