Oil on canvas, 84.5cm by 110.5cm.
In 1684, whilst on his second Grand Tour, John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700) purchased this painting, together with its pendant ‘The Three Marys at the Tomb.’
The latter was sold in 1888 at a three day sale held by Christie’s and is now in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
Gaulli was one of the leading artists in Rome during the latter part of the 17th Century and one of the principal painters patronised by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700).
Here, he records the moment when Mary Magdalene washed and anointed the feet of Christ using her tears and hair, for which Christ forgave all her sins.