when art is wrong

It’s the school holidays in our part of the world and for some Indiana Jones related culture we visited The Burrell Collection in Glasgow to look at the excellent collections from Egypt, Rome, Greece and Asia.

One thing that struck me was this:

Mary Magdalene

The statue shows Mary Magdalene with the jar of perfume that she was to anoint Jesus’ head with.

The thing is… it was Mary of Bethany that anointed Jesus.  They were not the same person.  Isn’t it amazing how popular misconceptions become so ingrained in cultural understanding?

2 thoughts on “when art is wrong”

  1. well, now … are you sure? because there are a number of translations available with different suggestions … For example; Matthew 26 vv 6-7 doesn’t name the woman at all (but DO agree that it was in Bethany – at the home of a man named Simon), Mark 14 v3 again leaves the woman nameless, Luke doesn’t mention the episode at all, whilst John (Ch 12 vv 2-3) suggest it was Mary, sister to Martha and Lazarus. The question is: if 3 of the evangelists thought it was so important as to mention in their accounts, why did only one bother to give the woman a name?

    And, for a great poem about the difference between Mary and Martha I offer you Rudyard Kipling’s Poem “The Sons Of Martha” … I tend to use it when a church is getting all het up about discussing what it should be doing – whilst not actually doing anything!

  2. Thanks Leo. So what you’re really saying is that I’m right? 😉

    Thanks for the poem. I’ve not read it but will go and find it.

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