Bartolomeo Montagna
St. Mary Magdalene Altarpiece

1514-1515
Church of Santa Corona, Vicenza, Italy

St. Mary Magdalene holds the ointment jar that is her attribute. As customary, she is pictured with long, blond hair. On the left are St. Jerome and his disciple St. Paola. His attribute is the lion that peeks from behind his red mantle. On the right are St. Monica and her son St. Augustine, who is identified by the sumptuous "pontificals" he is wearing.

See below a detail photograph of the predella, with explanatory notes.

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Read more about St. Mary Magdalene.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

The Predella: The panel on the right seems to picture Zosimus's meeting with St. Mary of Egypt, who is traditionally identified by all-encompassing hair. But on the left the same person is pictured in a church receiving communion from a bishop in the presence of an acolyte. This is how St. Mary Magdalene received her last communion; St. Mary of Egypt received hers from Zosimus while still out in the desert. It seems there has been some confusion between the two saints.

The center panel is not too clear either. It seems to be a "Noli Me Tangere" – the resurrected Christ telling Mary Magdalene not to touch her. But in his case he is touching her.

Read more about St. Mary of Egypt.