14 June 2009

Leonardo and the Real Mary Magdalene

Il cenacolo. [The Last Supper]
(1495-1498). Leonardo da Vinci. Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Contrary to Dan Brown, I do not believe that the figure to the Christ's right is Mary Magdalene. It was typical of Renaissance artists to depict the disciple John as young and somewhat effeminate. See also the convincing argument from Leonardo's notebooks and the Bible at Da Vinci Speaks. However, in spite of that, Leonardo may have left us an image of the Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene
(c. 1515). Recently attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Private collection. Image courtesy of Maria Madalena e o Santo Graal.

From Wikipedia:

The above painting was recently attributed as a Leonardo by Carlo Pedretti. Previously regarded as the work of Giampietrino who painted a number of similar Magdalenes.[7] Carlo Pedretti's attribution of this painting is not accepted by other scholars, e.g. Carlo Bertelli, (former director of the Brera Art Gallery in Milan), who said this painting is not by Leonardo and that the subject could be a Lucretia with the knife removed.[8]

[7]. "A lost Leonardo? Top art historian says maybe". Universal Leonardo. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.
[8]. Bertelli, Carlo (November 19, 2005). "Due allievi non fanno un Leonardo" (in Italian). Il Corriere della Sera. Retrieved on 2007-09-27.
See also:

"Unseen Da Vinci works go on show," BBC News (15 Oct 2005).
"Mary Magdalene: Edgar Cayce's Da Vinci Painting Found," Gaia Community (18 Jul 2008).


  1. Carlo Pedretti is an idiot. Leonardo never painted a dark shadow on the far side of a nose. Also that fist that grabs her veil belongs to Mike Tyson, not Leonardo. Enough of this desperation to force an image of Mary Magdalene out of Leonardo. Leave Dan Brown to fester in his fantasies.
    Majak Bredell

  2. Dan Brown is a plagiarist who stole his ideas form The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and corrupted them, because of his lack of education or understanding of things esoteric. It is unfortunate that because of his idiotic books people are misguided and diverted from looking into the sources. So his understanding of Mary Magdalene/Leonardo (and everything else) is nonexistent, pointless to even refer to this literary criminal.