The collection of works by Antoni Viladomat comprises three landscape paintings of a series of saints: Magdalena penitent (Penitent Magdalene), Santa Maria Egipcíaca al desert (Saint Mary of Egypt in the Desert) and Sant Ignasi escrivint a la Santa Cova de Manresa amb Montserrat al fons (Saint Ignatius writing in the Holy Cave of Manresa with Montserrat in the background). They are characterised by the protagonist occupying the foreground, in an open composition of the figure on one side against a background depicting a landscape scene, like an idealised spiritual retreat in the landscape or a window for reflection and meditation.
Mary Magdalene, one of the most famous saints to have known Jesus Christ does penance for her sins, and she is contemplating a crucifix that she holds in her left hand while her right hand rests on her chest, indicating love and devotion towards Christ. The success of this iconography, typical of the Counter-Reformation, is significant as it represents human repentance from a Christian perspective. It is the paradigm of the holy prostitute, in which outer beauty must be lost in order to acquire inner beauty, which can only be seen through corporal punishment, asceticism and penance, a path towards female spirituality.

Year 1700 - 1720

Oil on canvas

57x180 cm

Antoni Viladomat, 1678 - 1755