His knowledge on the subject is understood to be more detailed than what is documented in the Bible.

This is why he had to put his perceptive of Mary Magdalene in a physical form, a painting. He did the original painting titled Mary Magdalene to describe his understanding about her.

It measured 13.7cm by 7.9cm. Though Mary was not given so much consideration at the time, Leonardo decided to focus on this controversial character.

The painting is one of his most celebrated historical artwork today.

Painting Detail and Interpretation

Today, the portrait is found in different sizes such as 40cm by 50cm, 50cm by 50cm, 50cm by 60cm and 121cm by 182cm. The style employed in their production is Real Oil, and it’s done on canvas. Looking at this painting, one will argue that if the woman that Leonardo drew is really Mary Magdalene, then he meant to paint her as a ‘prostitute’.

The painting displays a woman who is half covered with the upper part of her chest exposing her breasts. Historically, this was seen as immoral and prostitute like. A woman was supposed to be morally upright and this meant that she was to dress accordingly.

Critics argue that the last supper painting and Mary Magdalene have similarities. According to many, the woman next to Jesus as painted by Da Vinci in the Last Supper portrait is Mary Magdalene. Leonardo was gifted in drawing pictures that allowed the observers to have their own interpretation of the message intended.

As an artist, he wanted his audience to have their own personal view of his work, and that’s why there is a lot of analysis concerning his work. This portrait is no exceptions and has driven lots of criticism since its production. The woman in question is very suggestive and anyone can interpret the message intended by Da Vinci the way he or she deems fit.

Biblical Perception of the Painting

Mary Magdalene of the Bible is described as an outgoing single woman. She enjoyed being in the company of Jesus and the apostles. Though depicted as a ‘prostitute’ with some critics, others argue that she was a victim of circumstances.

She is recorded to be the first one that talked to Jesus after His resurrection and for this reason, critics questions her real interest in Jesus.

After the death of Christ, no one knows what became of her or even where she went and this painting by Leonardo serves as a perfect testimony to her existence.

According to Da Vinci, Mary Magdalene was one of the most loved friends of Jesus and the apostles, and that’s why she was so close to Christ. However, this relation has resulted in criticism and debate through history.


According to the painting, Leonardo depicts Mary Magdalene as controversial, and this opens room for criticism and interpretations.

There are those who believe that Mary Magdalene was a close friend of Christ as shown in Da Vinci’s other painting, the Last Supper.

However, there are those who believe that she was a prostitute before meeting Jesus as seen in the painting, Mary Magdalene.

Whatever the interpretation, Da Vinci’s Mary Magdalene is a masterpiece that displays great artistic qualities by the painter.