A Cloud of Fraud by Linda Ferreri

Perhaps the suspicion of fraud enhances the flavor. C. S. Forester

Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene’s “portrait” is on the cover of this book. That is, a painting of Mary Magdalene by Carlo Crivelli. As with paintings of the 15th century and earlier, even later for that matter, she stands there with all of her attributes so that she can be readily identified. Beautiful, long flowing hair, a vessel of prescious ointment, etc. The crime against her was caused by a pope’s message that caused confusion of Mary Magdalene with the sinful Mary of Bethany. It’s been “undone” officially, but how does that ever really happen?

This is only one of so many paintings of one of the great woman of history, one of the many important women in the Bible who have become icons. It hangs by itself in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I am reminded to mention her, yet again, as Easter was the moment of highest drama in her part of the New Testament. She, like th Mona LIsa, has been written about, talked about, redrawn over and over again. We don’t know Mary Magdalene, but we do know her.

I find it interesting that she is blond. Carlo Crivelli’s beauties are always blonds. He was Venetian…were they all blond there in the 15th century? Worthy of contemplation.