The Magdalene in the Wilderness, by Cornelis van Poelenburgh (1594-1667).

Oil on panel. 19cm by 21.5cm. Signed: C.P.

According to legend, Mary Magdalene withdrew into the wilderness, after the death of Christ, where she pursued the life of a hermit for thirty years.

The artist, who was possibly born in Utrecht, later travelled to Rome, where his work painting mainly small landscapes with religious or mythological figures, was influenced by that of Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610).

He was invited to England by Charles I, where he painted several small cabinet pictures for the king.

His earliest signed works are dated 1620.


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