Floral Wreath with Mary Magdalene | MSK Gent
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Floral Wreath with Mary Magdalene

  • oil paint, panel
  • 90.5 x 73 cm
  • Inv. 1953-N

Public Domain

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The wreath of flowers winds itself like a garland through the cartouche on a pedestal. The stone cartouche is painted in trompe l’oeil and embellished with scrolls and human and animal heads. For this seventeenth-century painter, painting flowers was not just a way of displaying his masterly talents. Nor was it merely a depiction of an inventory of the known species of the time. Flowers and plants are always associated with the transience and vanity of our earthly life. In this painting it is emphasised further by the depiction in the view through the cartouche. It is a painting within a painting in which we recognise Mary Magdalene as a hermit. She is kneeling before a crucifixion with one hand resting on a skull. The lushness of the landscape in the distance forms a contrast with the cave in which the saint is depicted. Although the panel is attributed to Daniel Seghers, the figure of Mary Magdalene was probably the work of another artist, possibly Cornelis I Schut. Seghers painted on commission, as well as producing work for the free market where this type of painting was very much in demand.


Daniël Seghers RKD
Antwerp 1590 - Antwerp 1661
attributed to

Cornelis I Schut RKD Wikidata
Antwerp 1597 - Antwerp 1655
attributed to

Title Floral Wreath with Mary Magdalene
Period 17th century
Location Antwerp TGN
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings hallmarks
panel manufacturer's mark: F / VT
Collection paintings AAT
Object type oil paintings (visual works) AAT
Inventory number 1953-N
Acquisition credit bequest
Janson, Louis
Current whereabouts Work on display
Permalink https://mskgent.be/collection/work/data/1953-N
IIIF Manifest https://imagehub.mskgent.be/iiif/3/2333/manifest.json
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055874 religious symbolism AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11D12 the cross ~ symbols of Christ Iconclass
11HH(MARY MAGDALENE) the penitent harlot Mary Magdalene; possible attributes: book (or scroll), crown, crown of thorns, crucifix, jar of ointment, mirror, musical instrument, palm-branch, rosary, scourge Iconclass
11Q651 crucifix ~ personal devotion Iconclass
11R5 (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilita humana, Fugacita delle grandezze della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanita (Ripa) Iconclass
11R6 'Vanitas' still life Iconclass
11R71 skull as symbol of 'Vanitas' Iconclass
25G41 flowers Iconclass
25G41(LILY) flowers: lily Iconclass
25G41(ROSE) flowers: rose Iconclass
31A211 (human) skull Iconclass
41E1 still life of related objects Iconclass
School / Style Baroque AAT
Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent : Catalogus schilderkunst ; Deel I: 14de - 18de eeuw ; Deel II: 19de - 20ste eeuw / Robert Hoozee, Johan De Smet, Bruno Fornari, Ruth Monteyne. - Gent : Museum voor Schone Kunsten Gent, 2007 (dl. I, p. 105-151 (ill.))
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