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The Dance of the Magdalene

Artist:
Lucas van Leyden (Netherlandish, Leiden ca. 1494–1533 Leiden)
Date:
1519
Medium:
Engraving
Dimensions:
Sheet: 11 7/16 × 15 5/8 in. (29 × 39.7 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Gift of Felix M. Warburg and his family, 1941
Accession Number:
41.1.30
Not on view
In this large and delicately engraved print, Mary Magdalene is depicted in her worldly life as a courtesan, prior to her conversion. In the foreground, among loving couples, she dances to the music of a piper and a drummer; a fool gestures to her from behind a tree on the left, mocking her sinful behavior. Just beyond, she is on horseback taking part in a hunt. Lucas provided few clues to the religious nature of the subject besides the halo surrounding her head and the minute depiction of her assumption into heaven (in the background to the right of the mountain). This episode in the Magdalene's life had few precedents in the visual arts but was popular in contemporary mystery plays.
Marking: Watermark: Gothic "P" (Piccard 106856)
Collector's mark: Junius S. Morgan (Lugt 1536a)
Junius Spencer Morgan; Felix Moritz Warburg; Donor: Felix Moritz Warburg, and his family
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Print in the North".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Power of Prints: The Legacy of William M. Ivins and A. Hyatt Mayor," January 26, 2016–May 22, 2016.

H. X.122; D.122; NH 122, I (a)
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