A woman as the Magdalen writing at a table in an interior (1500-1530). Workshop of Master of the Female Half-Lengths (Netherlandish, fl. circa 1500–1530). Oil on panel.
It is believed that the Master was actually a studio, specializing in small panel paintings of young aristocratic ladies. The subjects were in half-length and devotional scenes, hence the name. They are engaged in various pursuits, such as reading, writing, and playing musical instruments. Some are shown with a jar of ointment, traditionally a symbol of Mary Magdalene.