Backstage at San Francisco Opera > April 2013 > Mary Magdalene in Amsterdam
Mary Magdalene in Amsterdam
On a research trip to Amsterdam, Mary Magdalene scholar Kayleen Asbo, visited the Rijksmuseum, a national museum dedicated to the arts and history of the Netherlands. While there she stopped for a look at Jan Van Scorel's 16th century depiction of Mary Magdalene and sent us this summary.

After a decade undergoing renovation, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is now open–and it is truly a marvelous accomplishment.

One of the great pleasures of this–or any great museum–is the sense of decoding pictures, recognizing the narrative embedded in the painting, collecting clues to put together a puzzle. The young woman with the enigmatic gaze here is Jan van Scorel's depiction of Mary Magdalene.

In the 16th century, Mary Magdalene was often depicted with unveiled golden red hair undulating in braids and flowing locks, dressed in sumptuous velvet gowns with green velvet sleeves: the marks of a high class courtesan.   On her lap, she cradles the jar of anointing, while the hazy mountains of southern France (her reputed resting place) undulate in the background.

Want to learn how to find Mary Magdalene in all the galleries of the world? Tune in to The Myths of Mary Magdalene webinar on May 1, when mythologist and cultural historian Kayleen Asbo will reveal the clues hidden in plain sight that will enable you to recognize one of history's favorite muses.

For more information, go to
Posted: 4/23/2013 1:54:28 PM by Kayleen Asbo
Filed under: 2012-13Season, Adamo, TheGospelOfMaryMagdalene


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