Catalan Review

MARY MAGDALENE’S ICONOGRAPHICAL REDEMPTION IN ISABEL DE VILLENA’S VITA CHRISTI AND THE SPECULUM ANIMAE

Catalan Review (2006), 20, (1), 313–329.

Abstract

This study will examine the depiction of Mary Magdalene in two late 15th century Valencian Passion texts: Vita Christi and Speculum Animae. The first text is known to have been composed by Isabel de Villena. The second, Speculum Animae, is a profusely illustrated manuscript mistakenly thought to have be en authored also by Isabel de Villena and which, until its recent rediscovery by Albert Hauf, had not been seen by anyone since 1761. This essay will consider two aspects of the portrayal of Mary Magdalene in these two texts: first, why and how the authors underscore the importance of Mary Magdalene in their account of Christ’s passion and, secondly, the way in which the treatment of Mary Magdalene activates in the intended reader (mostly an audience of cloistered nuns) a desire either to imitate or to resist the set of beliefs or ideology transmitted by the readings.

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Author details

Piera, Montserrat