Magdalen washing the feet of Christ in the House of Simon
Maerten van Heemskerck (1498 - 1574)
Width: 25.5 cm; Height: 20.5 cm;
Signed, M. Heemskerck inventor 1566
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952
About this work
According to Saint Luke’s account in the Bible, Mary Magdalen washed the feet of Christ with her tears at a banquet in the House of Simon, one of the Pharisees. Once a sinner, Magdalen is now shown kneeling in humility as she lifts her flowing hair to dry Christ’s feet. Van Heemskerck splendidly adorned the composition with ornament, including the Magdalen’s ointment jar in the foreground and elaborate fabrics throughout. This didactic scene is one of around 600 drawings van Heemskerck produced for engraving.
(Permanent collection label)
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London