Saint Mary Magdalene – Galleria degli Uffizi – Florence

The saint is identifiable with Mary Magdalene only thanks to the gold inscription on the edge of the dress, consisting of a fashionable bodice, green and red, allusive to love and penitence, of wide squared neckline and completed by a fur coat: Perugino in fact chooses to detach himself from the traditional iconography by bringing out from a very dark background Mary Magdalene, which is not presented as a penitent, but in the likeness of a woman well dressed and styled according to the taste of the time and in accordance with the tendency, in Florence of 1500, to prefer the Flemish taste in portraits.

The authorship of the work was in the past assigned to the young Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, only to be included definitively in the corpus of works of Vannucci. The infrared reflectography has revealed a free-hand design with very light strokes, with a more decisive charcoal hatching at the bottom, which betrays a well-thought-out search for the position of the fingers.

The painting is preserved at the Galleria degli Uffizi.