The J. Paul Getty Museum

Mary Magdalene

Object Details


Mary Magdalene


Boucicaut Master (French, active about 1390 - 1430)




Paris, France (Place Created)


about 1415 - 1420


Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment

Object Number:

Ms. 22 (86.ML.571), fol. 274v


Leaf: 20.5 × 14.8 cm (8 1/16 × 5 13/16 in.)

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Object Description

The Boucicaut Master's exquisite image of Mary Magdalene with her ointment jar introduces a prayer that focuses on her: Maria stabat ad monumentum plora[n]s (Mary stood at the tomb crying). The ointment jar recalls a story long associated with Mary Magdalene, that of the woman anointing Christ's feet at the house of Simon. Believed to have been a prostitute who gave up her former life to become a follower of Christ, Mary Magdalene was an important model for repentant sinners. In this depiction, the Boucicaut Master endowed her with rich robes, a delicately modeled face, and a subdued, elegant pose, all characteristics that made him one of the most influential artists of his time.

Recent Acquisitions of Illuminated Manuscripts, 1984-1989 (July 17 to September 30, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), July 17 to September 30, 1989
Fouquet's Century: Transformations in French Painting, 1415-1530 (April 26 to July 10, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), April 26 to July 10, 1994