The present statuette is a fine example of early 16th-century woodcarving and polychromy. It also illustrates the religious devotion with which such works were made and regarded as well as Antwerp's taste for extravagant fashion in the 16th century.
Representations of Mary Magdalen such as this were typical features of Crucifixion scenes on Flemish altarpieces. A Passion altarpiece from Antwerp in the Louvre (inv. no. RF 1769) shows a similar figure. A small group of independent figures can be found in Aachen's Suermondt-Ludwig Museum (inv. nos. SK 259, 260, 433 and 435).
The polychromy in the face is also seen in religious sculpture of Antwerp of the time; attendants of Passion scenes were painted with red around the eyes and cheeks to heighten the expressiveness of the figures. A good comparison is the Mary Magdalen in the Louvre's Lamentation (OA 5528).
E.G. Grimme, Europäische Bildwerke vom Mittelalter zum Barock, cat. Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum, Aachen/ Cologne, 1977, pp. 58-59, nos. 107-110, figs. 99-102; S. Guillot de Suduiraut, Sculptures brabançonnes du Musée du Louvre. Bruxelles, Malines, Anvers XVe-XVIe siècles, cat. Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2001, pp.112-122 and 148-151, nos. 17 and 31
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale