Mary Magdalene, 1995, acrylic on clayboard, 16" x 20"
Printed on 100% cotton Quintessence paper
Image size: 14” x 17 1/2”
Signed by the artist
Edition size: 800
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"The Richard Stodart Mary Magdalene is not only very beautiful it is theologically way ahead of its time. Its mix of simplicity and sophistication, Mary's steady gaze and the use of symbol give it the quality of an icon: It speaks to people; messages of hope and peace."
—The Reverend Catherine Relf-Pennington Rector,
St Mary Magdalene's
26 Moore St Adelaide 5000
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Often conflated with the penitent Mary in the Bible, Mary Magdalene was a wealthy woman from the city of Magdala, Galilee, who was healed by Jesus of an illness of possession by seven demons. She subsequently dedicated herself to Jesus, following Him everywhere, listening to His divine teaching, and serving His ministry with her estate. She accompanied Jesus to Golgotha, succoured Him during His suffering on the cross, and was present when His body was taken down from the cross and laid in the tomb. After HIs Resurrection, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in the sepulcher and requested her to tell the disciples about His Resurrection. Complying with His request, she said to them, “Christ is risen!”
My painting of Mary Magdalene is based on a story in which Mary Magdalene is said to have travelled to Rome to spread news of the Resurrection. While in Rome, Mary Magdalene testified to Tiberius Caesar about the Resurrection. Doubting her testimony, Tiberius Caesar said to her: "There is as much chance of Jesus rising from the dead as an egg in the basket you are carrying turning red." Whereupon, Mary Magdalene held up an egg and it turned red.
In this painting, the egg is white to express Mary Magdalene's faith that it will turn red and confirm the truth of the Resurrection. Her gaze is one of sacred power, beauty, and compassion. Centered in the blue vertical column that pierces her corona are three vertical marks at her heart—signifying entwined body, mind, and spirit.
The Abbey in Glastonbury, Celebration of Mary Magdalene Feast. Painting by Richard Stodart
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