Saint Mary Magdalen Holding a Crucifix; (reverse) The Flagellation

Spinello Aretino (Spinello di Luca Spinelli) Italian

Not on view

Painted on both sides, this extremely rare work was commissioned about 1395–1400 by the Confraternity of Saint Mary Magdalen in Borgo San Sepolcro and would have been carried in religious processions. On one side the hooded members of the confraternity kneel before their patron saint. On the reverse is the Flagellation of Christ—a reminder of the penitential practices members would have performed. Laymen often joined religious confraternities for communal devotions and charitable acts. Their hooded robes rendered such acts anonymous, in conformity with Christ's injunction that good works should not be done for vain praise.

The face of Christ is a photographic facsimile of the original painted face, which was detached in the nineteenth century and is now in the Camposanto Teutonico, Rome.

Saint Mary Magdalen Holding a Crucifix; (reverse) The Flagellation, Spinello Aretino (Spinello di Luca Spinelli) (Italian, born Arezzo 1345–52, died 1410 Arezzo), Tempera on canvas, gold ground

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