Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Penitent Magdalene by Tintoretto

I've been so obsessed with this incredible painting since I came across it. It is named The Penitent Magdalene, painted by Domenico Tintoretto around 1598.
I searched the web for explanations about it as it seems so controversial to me, though I couldn't find any detail behind its conception.
I wonder why.
This painting emanates such incredible erotic sensations, generated by the entire choice of colors -all of them are tones of gold and browns, matching the silky and soft skin of the saint and exacerbating the carnal impression. The shadows are rarely seen in religious paintings and here they create an effect of sensuality, together with the feminine golden hair curls and full lips. The look of Magdalene is mysterious, not revealing the penitence or other heavenly call, but rather intriguing. The crucified Christ is placed in an obscure manner and after looking at Magdalene's face, the viewer's look is captured by the wrapping cloth, with its woven texture that I associate with a snake skin, giving a deceiving illusion.
I am captivated by this painting. I wonder why Tintoretto chose such a non-religious approach - it seems very offensive for the period he lived in.


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