Andrea Solari. Mary Magdalene, c.1524. Walters Art Museum.

Seminars, Schools and Summer Series

Mary Magdalene – her changing image in art and literature from the fourteenth to the twentieth century

  • Begins: Monday 5 November 2018
    Until: Monday 3 December 2018
    (2-4pm for first four weeks and am for National Gallery visit on 3 December)
  • The Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AT
  • National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

The image of Mary Magdalene is one of the most familiar in Christian art but what do we really know of her? How does she usually appear in art and sculpture? Does her image change depending upon the period in which she is being depicted? To what extent does her image change within one artist’s work and why?

Mary is mentioned in all four Gospels. These references will be included with the Bibliography that you will receive before starting this series of lectures. The Autumn School will be an opportunity to explore and analyse the history, art and literature surrounding this fascinating saint, including her identification with Martha and the other Marys.


Week 1. Early imagery up to the end of the fourteenth century

Week 2. From tranquillity to passion: variations of her image in the fifteenth century

Week 3. Mary Magdalene in all her variety in the sixteenth century

Week 4. The penitent Mary Magdalene in the seventeenth century and beyond

Week 5. Visit to the National Gallery (approximately one hour each group)


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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Fully booked

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