Michelangelo Cerruti, Supper in the House of the Pharisee

Church of La Maddalena, Rome

The episode is recounted in Luke 7:36-50. A "sinful woman" entered the house where a Pharisee is hosting Jesus and brought an alabaster box of ointment; / And standing behind at his feet, she began to wash his feet, with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment" (37b-38). This is precisely what we see in the right side of the painting.

On the left, Jesus responds with a parable to the Pharisee's dismay that Jesus would allow such a woman to contact him.

In the Middle Ages it was believed that the woman with the ointment was St. Mary Magdalene.

Read more about St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus Dining with the Pharisee.

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