Saint Mary Magdalene by Simon Vouet, c. 1630


I've always enjoyed the French Baroque artist Simon Vouet, who is largely credited for introducing the Italian Baroque into France.  Most major museums in America have his paintings.  

Here is Mary Magdalen contemplating the new morality of Christianity. The climax of her decision takes place in her hands.  Her right gently touches her hair (paganism), while her left begins to cover herself (Christianity). This deftly displays the power of the Baroque--to make the most profound moral decisions palatable.  "Morality made real," as I tell my university students.

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