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Pedro Campaña, after Federico Zuccaro, 'The Conversion of Mary Magdalene', about 1562

Key facts
Full title The Conversion of Mary Magdalene
Artist Pedro Campaña, after Federico Zuccaro
Artist dates 1503 - 1580; 1541 - 1609
Date made about 1562
Medium and support Oil on panel
Dimensions 29.8 × 58.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1888
Inventory number NG1241
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Conversion of Mary Magdalene
Pedro Campaña, after Federico Zuccaro

Christ sits enthroned in the Temple of Jerusalem. He blesses the woman in the lower right, who is extending her arms and kneeling in repentance. This is Mary Magdalene, whose conversion is not specifically mentioned in the Gospels, but which was often represented in art. Her sister Martha stands beside her, pointing at Christ.

Pedro Campaña’s painting is inspired by a lost fresco by Federico Zuccaro, datable to 1563 and formerly in the Grimani chapel in the church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice. The chapel, which was dedicated to Mary Magdalene, also included a fresco of the Raising of Lazarus (which has survived). Among the crowd of onlookers are numerous portraits, presumably of members of the Grimani family.

This panel can be associated with a small painting mentioned in the will of Giovanni Grimani (1506–1593). Its attribution there to ‘Pietro di Fiandra’ (literally ‘Peter the Fleming’) confirms Campaña’s authorship, as the artist was also known by this name (referring to his Flemish origins).

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