The artist Orazio Gentileschi (1563-1639) painted a similar composition now in a private collection, New York, which could have served as an inspiration for Douven.1 Although both place Magdalene in a similar setting, with the motif of a skull, the artists chose to depict her agony in different ways. Orazio tilts her head back in an overly exaggerated way, a testament to the discomfort she feels, while Douven lets her heavy head rest on her hand as if to represent the pain she has to carry.
1. See K. Christiansen and J. Mann, Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, New York 2001, pp. 174-177, cat. no. 35, reproduced p. 175.
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