TheMaryMagdaleneof Donatello stands out from other well known articulations ofbiblical females in art history. It is a famous statue of an anguishlady delineated in renaissance realism. Realism is a style thatrejects the innovative romanticizing of an art piece and instead usesthe actual representation of outward appearances of the creation inquestion. A close look at the statue uncovers features of a real ladyin distress – a good example of a realism art piece. Because of theaddition of features like a rugged appearance and a frail body,Donatello’s MaryMagdaleneeffectively reveals the themes of repentance, conversion, and therejection of worldly desires.
Theoutside appearances of MaryMagdaleneboldly highlight the theme of repentance. In this visual art piece,Magdalene’s face and whole body are totally skinny and thin as shegets in a position of devotion. Her physical being intends to triggera feeling of mercy in any Christian who takes a gander at it –clearly, Donatello wanted to create a remorseful impression with thispiece. Mary`s face not only demonstrates the battle of investing herenergy and starving in a far away cave, but also shows her total lookof assurance and dedication to her religion. The dull color of Mary’sskin and her frail appearance show how sorry she is for her pastsins highlighting the theme of repentance.
Furtheranalysis of MaryMagdaleneshows the theme of conversion to a Christian way of life. This visualart demonstrates a Magdalene physically scarred by her past andpresent retribution. Her starved figure, indented eyes, projectingneckline, and cheekbones convey outrageous daily fasting. Her skin isweathered by the sun, her hair thick, and tangled. Mary`s eyes gazeahead concentrated on something extraordinary. It is as though she issitting tight and longing for something while at the same time moving- proposed by the minor contrapposto of her position. In other words,Mary longs for a new life and she believes that fasting is necessaryfor this conversion.
MaryMagdaleneis in tattered clothes and rags because she renounces worldlypleasures like fashionable garments. It is also worth noting thatDonatello uses vertical lines to represent Mary’s hair and garments– this element suggests spirituality. Magdalene goes on a fastingsession in the caves and lives on nothing but prayer because shebelieves that spiritual nourishment is better than earthly foods.Through the statue’s facial expression, Donatello shows the humbleMary Magdalene experiencing physical and spiritual enthusiasm intimes of pain – her torment increases her faith in Christ. Herconfidence is obvious as her hands are close together, though thefingers do not touch, in supplication. She has totally surrenderedherself to God, leaving worldly desires behind as her eyes and feetonly focus on what is ahead.
Inconclusion, Donatello’s MaryMagdalenehas an unorthodox appearance because it represents themes likerepentance, conversion, and freedom from the love of material things.The frail figure shows how sorry Mary is for her past sins. Fastingis a noble way to seek spiritual conversion and become an eternalfollower of Christ. Rugged clothes and shaggy appearance displayMary’s denunciation of material things. This artwork operatesvisually by exhibiting features which complement each other and makethe MaryMagdalenestand out as a renaissance realism wooden sculpture. Donatello useselements like three dimensional form, dull color, and vertical linesto accentuate the statue’s features and effectively communicatereligious themes.