Italian painting

"Reading Mary Magdalene", Piero di Cosimo - description of the painting

  • Author: Piero di Cosimo
  • Museum: National Gallery of Ancient Art, Rome
  • Year: Around 1500-1510
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Reading Mary Magdalene - Piero di Cosimo. Around 1500-1510. Wood, oil. 72 x 53 cm

The reading Mary Magdalene is a painting by Piero di Cosimo, written around the period 1500–1510 for a personal collection, and never sold during the life of the author. Not a picture to order, but after the death of the author, the work passed from hand to hand. Who owned the picture until 1895 is not possible. After it was bought by the National Museum of Rome, and in 2002 the painting was transferred under the auspices of the National Gallery of Ancient Art.

History of creation

Pierrot began work on the painting in 1500. At the same time, it was the writing of the face that took him only two months. Each time he asked the girl to pose for him personally, but he only followed her face, trying to convey every wrinkle in the picture. The girl was chosen on purpose, since it was the divine forms that were needed only in sunny Italy.
After that, Piero di Cosimo painted the rest of the work. Nobody rushed the master, and he finished the rest of the details in peace, while doing other works as well. Each detail was drawn and detailed depending on what exactly the artist wanted to show.

Writing style

The picture is made in the form of a portrait, but there are obvious signs of a still life. The book deserves special attention, since if you enlarge the text, you can discern real words written by Cosimo. The artist never revealed what exactly he inscribed in that part of the picture.
The work was written in two stages. At first, a face was drawn, after which shadows were applied over it by applying light black shades. The black color was draped with mascara, so that even with natural light the black would still look natural.

Other paintings by Piero di Cosimo

Perseus Liberating Andromeda
Death to Gods
Immaculate Conception
Forest fire
Venus, Mars and Cupid
Visit to the Mother of God
Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci

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