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Henry Le Jeune, A.R.A. (1819-1904)

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Henry Le Jeune, A.R.A. (1819-1904)

Mary Magdalen at the sepulchre

Details
Henry Le Jeune, A.R.A. (1819-1904) Mary Magdalen at the sepulchre with an extensive inscription from St. John's Gospel (on the reverse) oil on panel 12 x 9 7/8 in. (30.5 x 25.1 cm.)
Exhibited
London, Royal Academy, 1856, no. 615.
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No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

After the Crucifixion, Mary Magdelene went to the tomb where Jesus's body had been lain. She found it empty, and wept. Shortly thereafter, Christ appeared to her to announce his resurrection, and bade her go and tell the disciples the good news. But he asked her not to touch him - 'Noli me tangere'. Le Jeune depicts this critical moment of faith by showing the Magdelene - with her attribute of a jar of ointment beside her - gazing at a divine light coming from the empty tomb, her hands clasped in prayer. Christ is beside her but she cannot yet perceive him. The picture belongs to a series of small scale devotional works that the artist produced in the 1840s and 50s. Another example, Thy Will be Done, depicting the Agony in the Garden, sold in the Forbes Sale, Christie's, London, 20 February 2003, lot 155. As with this example, the picture makes dramatic use of light. A new dawn, symbolically, is breaking.

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