The Dance of Saint Mary Magdalene
Lucas van Leyden, Netherlandish (active Leiden), c. 1494 - 1533
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In a landscape full of captivating detail, the artist has compressed three episodes of Saint Mary Magdalene's exemplary life: in the foreground she promenades at dawn after a night of revelry; in the middle she rides out stag hunting in the midday sun; while in the far distance, outside the mountain cave where she fasted in solitary penitence for the last thirty years of her life, angels lift her heavenward for a celestial feast. In each scene, Mary Magdalene wears a halo to mark her future sainthood.