St. Mary Magdalene Mourning
Lorenzo di Mariano (Il Marrina)
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This approximately life-size painted terracotta sculpture depicts St. Mary Magdalene, recognizable from her long, loose hair (a reminder of her time spent in penitence in the wilderness later in life, clothed only by her hair). The Magdalene kneels and weeps copiously, sculpted tears cascading down her cheeks. This could be a single image of her penitence but more likely is a figure from a Lamentation group, as such large terracotta groups were popular in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, after the first such a dramatic tableau was sculpted by Niccolò dell'Arca in Santa Maria della Vita in Bologna. The sculpture discussed here comes from Santa Maria dei Servi in Siena and is currently housed in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena. The sculptor to whom this work has been attributed, "Il Marrina," is known mostly for his work in marble but made at least one other work in terracotta. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.