Matevž Langus (1792–1855) painted the image of St Mary Magdalene on several occasions, either as a separate motif or as a part of multi-figural scenes. We know his renditions in oil and fresco technique, while his sketch books also include some compositional drawings in pencil.
Mary Magdalene from 1846 is the most emotionally expressive among Langus’ depictions of the penitent sinner. Swollen teary face, mouth slightly open in ecstasy, eyes turned to Christ and sensual hands, cleavage and loose hair remind us of the images of Magdalene by Guido Reni (1575–1642). In comparison to Reni, Langus’ Magdalene carries less erotic and more confessional connotations.
The September Revelations will showcase inspirations for the Langus painting held by the Gallery – we will look at the drawings from the sketch books adapted from various sources which served Langus as a compositional and colour source of different depictions of Magdalene. Besides Gallery painting we will present the fresco with the image of Magdalene in the grand dome of the Šmarna gora pilgrim church, which was painted at the same time as the oil picture.
2 September–6 October 2021
National Gallery of Slovenia