From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The traditional Roman Catholic feast day dedicated to Mary Magdalene celebrated her position as a penitent. This was changed in 1969, with the revision of the Roman Missal and the Roman Calendar, and now there is no mention in either of Mary Magdalene the sinner.
The Magdalene became a symbol of repentance for the vanities of the world to various sects. Mary Magdalene's name was also used for the Magdalen Asylum, institutions for "fallen women." including the infamous "Magdalen Laundries" in Ireland.
In the Orthodox Church, Mary Magdalene is not celebrated as a penitent, but rather as a woman who lived a virtuous life.
A number of art works on this theme, including:
- The Repentant Mary Magdalene by Canova
- Penitent Magdalene (Caravaggio), c. 1597 painting by Caravaggio
- Penitent Magdalene (Donatello), c. 1533 sculpture by Donatello
- Penitent Magdalene (de la Tour), c. 1638 painting by Georges de la Tour (also called The Magdalene with Two Flames)
- Penitent Magdalene (Artemisia Gentileschi) c. 1617 painting by Artemisia Gentileschi
- Penitent Magdalene (Reni), c. 1635 painting by Guido Reni
- Penitent Magdalene (Titian, 1533), c. 1533 painting by Titian
- Penitent Magdalene (Titian, 1565), c. 1565 painting by Titian
- Maria Magdalena by Honoré Daumier