Mary Magdalene (Sandys)

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Mary Magdalene
Mariya Magdalena.jpg
ArtistAnthony Frederick Augustus Sandys
Yearca. 1858–1860
TypeOil on panel
Dimensions33.5 cm × 28 cm (​13 14 in × 11 in)
LocationDelaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware

Mary Magdalene is a Pre-Raphaelite 1858-1860 painting by Frederick Sandys. Mary Magdalene was the only figure from the Bible that Sandys ever painted. Having sharp features reminiscent of Lizzie Siddal (though the model is unknown),[1] Mary is depicted in front of a patterned forest-green damask. She holds an alabaster ointment cup, a traditional attribute which associates her with the unnamed sinful woman who anointed Jesus' feet in Luke 7:37. Like other Pre-Raphaelite painters, Frederick Sandys gave Magdalene a sensual look.

Dante Rossetti accused Sandys of plagiarism, because of the resemblance to his Mary Magdalene Leaving the House of Feasting,[2] but when Rossetti came to paint Magdalene some twenty years later, it was his painting that resembled Sandys.[1]

Mary Magdalene was acquired in 1894 by Samuel Bancroft, the most important American collector of Pre-Raphaelite art, whose family donated his collection to the Delaware Art Museum in 1935. Bancroft had bought the painting from Charles Fairfax Murray, an artist in the Pre-Raphaelite circle.

It has been exhibited as part of a touring exhibition of the Bancroft Collection, at the Saint Louis Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh, Nottingham Castle, and other locations. It was once featured in an oversize advertisement in the San Antonio International Airport.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Shadowlight: The Pre-Raphaelite Goddess". Retrieved 2007-10-02.
  2. ^ The watercolor, dated 1857, is at the Tate Gallery; it was exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Delaware Art Museum". Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-10-02.