Saint Mary Magdalene

Weyden, Rogier Van Der, ca.1399 - 1464

Saint Mary Magdalene

Weyden, Rogier Van Der ca.1399 - 1464


A reproduction produced by the Vasari Society of a drawing by Rogier van der Weyden. The drawing shows the head and torso of a seated woman facing towards the left. The woman is wearing a hat held on by a piece of fabric, which is wrapped under her chin. Her wavy hair is tied back and hangs down her back. She is wearing a dress that fastens at the front and her left hand is raised to hold the top of a bottle. She has an anxious expression on her face. Text from the accompanying booklet produced by the Vasari Society: “Nos. 18, 19, 20 ROGIER VAN DER WEYDEN (b. 1399 or 1400, d. 1464) ST. MARY MAGDELENE British Museum (O. o. 9-2). Silver-point. 17.8 x 13 cm. (7 1/16 x 6 1/8 in.) ST. MARY MAGDELENE Collection of Mr. George Salting. Silver-point touched with water-colour. 17 x 12.6 cm. (6 5/8 x 6 in.) THE VIRGIN MARY British Museum (P. p. 1-17). Silver-point touched with water-colour. 16.6 x 12 cm. (6 9/16 x 4 ¾ in.) The first and second of these drawings correspond accurately to the figure of Mary Magdelene in the right-hand wing of the fine small triptych by Rogier van der Weyden formerly at Grosvenor House, where it was attributed to Memling, and now in the possession of Lady Theodora Guest. The first is so fine and free in touch and feeling that it has a strong claim – stronger than any save a few among existing Flemish fifteenth-century drawings – to be regarded as a true preliminary study by the master for his picture. Note the beauty of line and sensitiveness of feeling in such matters as the slight parting of the lips; and also the free, suggestive touch with which the manner of lacing the gown is indicated, the light hand used in sketching in the broad features of the landscape, with no appearance of strict dependence on the details of the finished picture. In the second drawing, to which a touch of stippled colour in the cheeks adds a charm of its own, all these features (except the landscape, which is omitted) are treated much less livingly, with the timid finish of a careful contemporary copyist; there is an error, moreover, in the drawing of the eyes, which are not quite on the same axis. The third drawing, technically in all respects akin to Mr. Salting’s and doubtless by the same hand, is plainly also a contemporary pupil’s copy from the head of a Virgin or Holy Woman in some picture (not yet, I believe, identified) by Rogier van der Weyden or his school. The letters A.M. and date 1451 which appear in the upper top corner are modern additions. S. C.”

Object Name

Saint Mary Magdalene

Creators Name

Weyden, Rogier Van Der

Date Created



support: 45.6cm x 38.1cm

accession number



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