St. Mary Magdalene

18th century
Oil on canvas
Museum of the Church of San Paio (Pelagius)
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

In the foreground St. Mary Magdalene contemplates a cross or crucifix among other elements traditional for this iconographic type: the skull, the prayer beads, the book. For good measure, the artist has added the ointment jar that is her attribute in portraits.

The middle background is a landscape. Perhaps one could argue that it represents the lushness of the life in Heaven that awaits the repentant sinner, but setting a religious subject in a landscape was a favored practice in 18th century art (example).

Read more about St. Mary Magdalene.

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