Chasing down an enigma--the controversial Mary Magdalene--has recently become a national enthrallment due to books like Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. With the variety and quantity of magnificent paintings and sculptures in her likeness, it is apparent that the Magdalene has long been guiding the brushstrokes of our greatest artists, all of whom have rendered her unlike any other woman in the bible. Unlike Mary the mother--who is often expressed as an archetype, an ideal--the Magdalene is virtually always drawn as an individual, a woman of flesh and blood with feelings and emotions. Even in the earliest depictions she is seen at the foot of the cross, in deep crisis at the loss of her Beloved. It is as if these painters carried her in their hearts and rendered her honestly and compassionately. Even when the clerics devalued her, the artists continued to champion her.
Editor Jane Lahr takes us on a visual and literary journey through the history and the lore, the facts and the myth, that surround Mary Magdalene. Beginning with the biblical cannon, continuing through Gnostic texts and ending with myths and literary works surrounding the Magdalene, Lahr presents a complete picture of her life, allowing the reader to decide for themselves who the true Magdalene was. Illustrated with images from the worlds greatest artists like Michelangelo, Rubens, Chagall, and Georges De La Tour, this lavish anthology is the most comprehensive and stunning look at the Magdalene ever published. Lahr begins each of the five chapters with an insightful and lucid introductive that provides the reader with guidance and context for the stories, texts, and images that follow.
The Indisputable Mary Magdalene: With texts from the biblical canon including Mark, and Luke, discover each specific and indisputable reference to Mary Magdalene, with artworks from Fra Angelico to Jan van Eyck.
Mary & the Traditional Associations: A woman, a sinner, and dryer of tears, these associations are found from John and Matthew to Luke and Mark. The paintings of Henry Ossawa Tanner, D. Bouts, Duccio, and Pieter Paul Rubens highlight the text.
Mary of the Apocrypha: The ancient texts of the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and the Dialogue of the Savior alongside the works of Georges De La Tour, Marc Chagall, and Massaccio.
Mary Magdalene in Myth & Legend: Revel in literary wonders that celebrate the Magdalene from Christina Georgina Rossetti, Ranier Maria Rilke, and John Donne.
Mary & The Mystery of the Holy Grail: Explore the Magdalene's possible connection to the mysterious Holy Grail through a variety of modern and ancient texts paired with the masterpieces of Michelangelo and Leonardo.
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JANE LAHR is the editor of Celtic Quest in Art and Literature (Welcome) and the coeditor of the bestselling anthology Love: A Celebration in Art and Literature (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). Working from St. Louis and New York, Lahr has a dozen titles to her credit.
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