The Magdalen (exhibited 1842). William Etty (English, 1787‑1849). Oil paint on board. Tate.
In this portrayal, Etty offers viewers a rather somber and serious portrayal of the Magdalen’s act of prayerful repentance. Perhaps to emphasize the work’s moral and religious overtones, Etty shows Mary drawing her dress up around herself and and sensitively placing her arms across her chest. Etty pulls the Magdalen’s hair into a neat bun with strands falling to frame her face.