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The Conversion of the Magdalene

Bernardino Luini (AKA Bernardino Lovino; Bernardino del Lupino), Italian (Milanese), (1480 (or 1485)–1532)
previously attributed to Leonardo di Vinci, Italian (Florentine), (April 15, 1452–May 2, 1519)

Creation date: ca. 1520
Creation place: Italy

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on panel
Credit Line: Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam in memory of their sister, Irene
Accession Number: 1936.23
State/Province: Milan
Dimensions: 25 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in. (64.77 cm x 82.55 cm)
Currently on view

Provenance

Anne R. and Amy Putnam, San Diego, California ( - April 18, 1936)

Lucien Bonaparte, ( - )

Carlton Higbie, Detroit, Michigan ( - 1929)

Edward R. Bacon, New York, New York ( - )

Harold O. Barker, New York, New York ( - )

Lilienfeld Galleries, Inc., New York, New York ( - 1936)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (April 18, 1936 - )

Label Copy

Bernardino Luini was among Leonardo da Vinci’s closest followers in Milan in the years after 1500, and virtually all aspects of this painting, which might be based on a lost painting or drawing by the master, find precedents in Leonardo’s work: the characteristic figure types, for example, as well as the distinctive, gesturing hands that animate the narrative. The composition contrasts the heavily draped woman at the left with the bejeweled, elaborately dressed woman at the right, and the scene was long identified as an Allegory of Modesty and Vanity. The ointment jar held by the woman at right, however, is a traditional attribute of Mary Magdalene, and the painting is thus also thought to depict the moment when the Magdalene chose to put aside her finery and her old life and to follow Jesus, like her sister Martha. Yet, the ambiguous expressions of the women—another benchmark of Leonardo’s legacy—leave the scene open to interpretation. Lastly, it is possible that the painting is intended to be both an allegory and a narrative, a type of double reading that likewise can be traced to Leonardo.
Last Updated: 6/4/2013

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Official Art Exhibition of the California Pacific International Exposition Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego , 2/12/1936 - 9/9/1936

Golden Gate International Exposition Golden Gate International Exposition , 5/25/1940 - 9/29/1940

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519 Los Angeles County Museum of Art , 6/3/1949 - 7/17/1949

Art of Devotion The San Diego Museum of Art , 1/28/2016 - 00/00/00

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Catherine Puglisi. Caravaggio Phaidon Press Limited. London, England, 1998 (and 2000)
Page Number: 134, Figure Number: 68

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
Page Number: 114

Mr. Martin E. Petersen. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 104

Julia Gethman Andrews (DUP). A Catalogue of European Paintings, 1300-1870 San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1947
Page Number: 41, 42, Figure Number: 42

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
Page Number: 631

The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego Catalogue: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1960
Page Number: 64, 65, Figure Number: 64

Illustrated Catalogue of the Official Art Exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1936
Page Number: 36, no. 443

Illustrated Catalogue of the Official Art Exhibition of the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1936
Page Number: 42, Figure Number: 42

Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance—Central Italian and North Italian Schools Phaidon Publishers Inc.. New York, New York, 1968
Page Number: 234

Walter Heil. Golden Gate International Exposition, The Recorder Printing & Publishing Co.. San Francisco, California, 1940
Page Number: 9, no. 112

Paul Joannides. Titian to 1518: Yale University Press. New Haven, Connecticut, 2001
Page Number: 243, 319 note 9, Figure Number: 221

Maura Natale and Allesandro Morandotti. La natura morta in Italia Electa. Milano, Italia, 1989
Page Number: 207

Prof. Pamela M. Jones. Storia dell'arte CAM Editrice S.r.l.. Rome, Italy, 2004
Page Number: 85, 92 note 34, 98, Figure Number: 4

Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Illustrated Marble Faun Scholars' Facsimiles & Reprints. Delmar, New York, 1991
Page Number: 26, Figure Number: XV

Mr. Reginald Poland. The Art Digest The Art Digest, Inc.. New York, New York, March 1, 1936
Page Number: 5, 6, Figure Number: 5

Mr. Frederick Cummings. The Burlington Magazine The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd.. London, England, October 1974
Page Number: 574, 575 note 9, Figure Number: 29

Ms. Karen Finlay. The Burlington Magazine The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd.. London, England, September 1987
Page Number: 607, 608, Figure Number: 608

Dr. Alfred M. Frankfurter. Art News Art News, Inc.. New York, New York, March 28, 1936
Page Number: 6, Figure Number: 6

Deoch Fulton, ed. Art News Art News, Inc.. New York, New York, December 28, 1929
Page Number: 9, Figure Number: 9

William R. Valentiner. Leonardo da Vinci, 1452–1519: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, California, 1949
Page Number: 99-100 no. 59, Figure Number: 59

Marilena Mosco. La Maddalena tra Sacro e Profano Arnoldo Mondadori Editore. Milano, Italia, 1986
Page Number: 158

Old Master Paintings Sotheby's. London, England, November 1, 2005
Page Number: 7

Mr. Giovanni Morale. La Cena di Tiziano: Skira editore. Milano, Italia, 2006
Page Number: 117-118, Figure Number: 29

Dr. Maria H. Loh. Titian Remade: The Getty Research Institute. Los Angeles, California, 2007
Page Number: 115, 116, Figure Number: 52

Verlag C.H. Beck. Caravaggio, Sehen - Saunen - Glauben, Der Maler und Sein Werk Sybille Ebert-Schifferer. 2009
Page Number: 105, Figure Number: 63

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