F. Baldassari, Carlo Dolci, Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Florence 2015, p. 171, cat. no. 76, reproduced.
In this intimate copper, destined for private devotion, we find the Magdalene repenting in the wilderness, her alluring nakedness reminding us of her unchaste past. Her breasts are exposed and the blue folds of her robes reveal her leg up to the thigh in a scene that, for all its allusion to the vanity of life and repentance, must, surely, have also been a celebration of the female form.
Francesca Baldassari (see Literature) notes that a preparatory drawing in red and black chalk on white paper is in the Albertina, Vienna, where it is listed as after Bilivert (inv. no. 850).1 She goes on to compare the present work with another small copper, the Christ in the Garden in Palazzo Bianco, Genoa.2
1. V. Birke and J. Kertész, Die italiansiche Zeichnungen der Albertina. Generalverzeichnis, Vienna-Cologne-Weimar 1992, vol. I, p. 442.
2. Baldassari 2015, pp. 148–49, cat. no. 53, reproduced.
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