July 22, 2017
Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), The Elevation of St. Mary Magdalene, c.1504, woodcut, 8 1/2 x 5 13/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate.
In many Christian traditions, today is celebrated as the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. Though Western artist often portrayed her as a sinner and adulterer who becomes a devout follower of Jesus Christ, there is no Biblical evidence of her state as a “fallen woman.” Many traditions follow the lore that following Christ’s resurrection, Mary Magdalene traveled far from her homeland and there stayed until her death, visited often by angels and as witness to spectacular visions.
Today’s Artwork of the Day is a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer depicting one of Mary Magdalene’s many visions during her later life in solitude. In the woodcut, she is surrounded by angels and depicted with long, flowing hair covering her body, which was in keeping with traditional depictions of Mary Magdalene at Dürer’s time.