The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum; the museum is housed in the Louvre Palace built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress lost its defensive function and, in 1546, was converted by Francis I into the main residence of the French Kings; the building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre as a place to display the royal collection, from 1692, a collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. In 1692, the building was occupied by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which in 1699 held the first of a series of salons.
The Académie remained at the Louvre for 100 years. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces; the museum opened on 10 August 1793 with an exhibition of 537 paintings, the majority of the works being royal and confiscated church property. Because of structural problems with the building, the museum was closed in 1796 until 1801; the collection was increased under Napoleon and the museum was renamed Musée Napoléon, but after Napoleon's abdication many works seized by his armies were returned to their original owners. The collection was further increased during the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, during the Second French Empire the museum gained 20,000 pieces. Holdings have grown through donations and bequests since the Third Republic; the collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities. The Louvre Palace, which houses the museum, was begun as a fortress by Philip II in the 12th century to protect the city from English soldiers which were in Normandy.
Remnants of this castle are still visible in the crypt. Whether this was the first building on that spot is not known. According to the authoritative Grand Larousse encyclopédique, the name derives from an association with wolf hunting den. In the 7th century, St. Fare, an abbess in Meaux, left part of her "Villa called Luvra situated in the region of Paris" to a monastery.. The Louvre Palace was altered throughout the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, Charles V converted the building into a residence and in 1546, Francis I renovated the site in French Renaissance style. Francis acquired what would become the nucleus of the Louvre's holdings, his acquisitions including Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. After Louis XIV chose Versailles as his residence in 1682, constructions slowed. Four generations of Boulle were granted Royal patronage and resided in the Louvre in the following order: Pierre Boulle, Jean Boulle, Andre-Charles Boulle and his four sons, after him. André-Charles Boulle is the most famous French cabinetmaker and the preeminent artist in the field of marquetry known as "Inlay".
Boulle was "the most remarkable of all French cabinetmakers". He was commended to Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", by Jean-Baptiste Colbert as being "the most skilled craftsman in his profession". Before the fire of 1720 destroyed them, André-Charles Boulle held priceless works of art in the Louvre, including forty-eight drawings by Raphael'. By the mid-18th century there were an increasing number of proposals to create a public gallery, with the art critic La Font de Saint-Yenne publishing, in 1747, a call for a display of the royal collection. On 14 October 1750, Louis XV agreed and sanctioned a display of 96 pieces from the royal collection, mounted in the Galerie royale de peinture of the Luxembourg Palace. A hall was opened by Le Normant de Tournehem and the Marquis de Marigny for public viewing of the Tableaux du Roy on Wednesdays and Saturdays, contained Andrea del Sarto's Charity and works by Raphael. Under Louis XVI, the royal museum idea became policy; the comte d'Angiviller broadened the collection and in 1776 proposed conversion of the Grande Galerie of the Louvre – which contained maps – into the "French Museum".
Many proposals were offered for the Louvre's renovation into a museum. Hence the museum remained incomplete until the French Revolution. During the French Revolution the Louvre was transformed into a public museum. In May 1791, the Assembly declared that the Louvre would be "a place for bringing together monuments of all the sciences and arts". On 10 August 1792, Louis XVI was imprisoned and the royal collection i
Part of Your World
"Part of Your World" is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for Walt Disney Pictures' 28th animated feature film The Little Mermaid. Performed by American actress and singer Jodi Benson in the titular role as Ariel, a mermaid princess, "Part of Your World" is a power ballad in which the main character expresses her strong desire to become human; the film's theme song, "Part of Your World" is reprised by Ariel after she rescues Eric, a human prince with whom she has fallen in love, from drowning. Directly influenced by Broadway and musical theatre, Ashman believed that The Little Mermaid would benefit from an "I Want" song – a musical number during which the main character sings about what they hope to accomplish by the end of their story. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker asked Ashman to write a song for Ariel in which she expresses her romantic feelings for Prince Eric, but the lyricist felt that a song that details the character's fascination with the human world would better serve the film's plot.
Ashman recruited Benson, with whom he had collaborated on the stage musical Smile, to record "Part of Your World", worked with her to ensure that she delivered a desirable performance. Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg ordered that "Part of Your World" be removed from the final film due to concerns that the ballad would bore young children. However, Clements and animator Glen Keane convinced Katzenberg that "Part of Your World" is essential to the film's narrative, the song was spared after audiences appeared to enjoy it during a subsequent test screening. "Part of Your World" has garnered critical acclaim. Several media publications agree that "Part of Your World" ranks among the greatest Disney songs written, credit the success of the ballad with making "I Want" songs a standard component of future animated musical films. Critics have offered various interpretations of the song's empowering lyrics, ranging from seeking independence from overprotective parents to feminism and LGBT rights.
In addition to becoming Benson's signature song, which she continues to perform live, "Part of Your World" has been covered extensively by several artists of various genres, including Faith Hill, Jessica Simpson, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jessie J and Sara Bareilles. Actress Sierra Boggess debuted the song in the stage musical adaptation of the film, for which she originated the role of Ariel. Written in 1986, "Part of Your World" was the first song lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken wrote for The Little Mermaid, although Menken had not yet been enlisted as Ashman's composer when the song was first conceived. Directly inspired by Broadway's most successful musicals, Ashman believed that The Little Mermaid's story would benefit from at least one song that serves as its heroine's "inner diary of thoughts". Having always intended for Ariel to perform a song in her grotto and screenwriters Ron Clements and John Musker asked Ashman to write a song in which Ariel declares her love for Prince Eric by singing to a statue of the character, but Ashman suggested that a song depicting the character's fascination with the human world would be a stronger alternative.
Ashman explained to the filmmakers that "Part of Your World" would be Ariel's "I Want" song, likening it to moments in stage musicals during which the heroine sings about her dreams so that the audience can begin to care about the character and her journey. Menken believes that Disney had not yet included explicit "I Want" songs in the studio's films prior to The Little Mermaid, making "Part of Your World" the first time one had been written intentionally for a Disney film. However, Disney princesses had technically been singing "I Want" songs since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Cinderella. Observing structural similarities between the song and "Somewhere That's Green" from their musical Little Shop of Horrors, the songwriters nicknamed "Part of Your World" "Somewhere That's Dry" because they believe it resembles an "underwater version" of the Little Shop of Horrors song. Additionally, Ashman had written a song entitled "Disneyland" with composer Marvin Hamlisch for their Broadway musical Smile in which a young girl, much like Ariel, sings about watching Disney anthology series as a means of escaping her troubled childhood.
Menken identified the musical motif he composed for the beginning of the ballad as his favorite part of the song. Ashman debuted "Part of Your World" for Clements and Musker at his apartment in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Only the directors' second time meeting Ashman and first time meeting Menken, Menken provided the piano accompaniment while Ashman sang Ariel's melody himself, instead of their traditional method of Menken singing lead vocals. Moved by Ashman's demonstration, Musker recalled that the lyricist gazed up towards the ceiling as though it were the human world itself as he "became Ariel before our eyes" and "poured out his heart in song", helping them visualize "this far-off place of wonder that so entranced this little mermaid.”Clements and Musker enjoyed the song but would sometimes disagree with Ashman over its lyrics, which Ashman had insisted be specific. Musker wanted to change the line "I wanna be where the people are" because he felt that it sounded too political and reminded him of Governor of Illinois Dan Walker, suggesting that "the" be removed.
Appalled by this suggestion, Ashman insisted that the line remain unchanged to prevent the word "where" from having to be
Magdalene at a Mirror
Magdalene at a Mirror or Penitent Magdalene is a c.1635-1640 oil on canvas painting by Georges de la Tour. It passed from the Marquise de Caulaincourt to the Comtesse d'Andigné in 1911, before being bought in 1936 by André Fabius - it is sometimes known as The Fabius Magdalene as a result, it was unattributed but Louvre experts attributed it to de la Tour in 1937. Fabius could not find a buyer in France and so in 1964 sold it to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where it still hangs, though this caused a legal case since Fabius had not sought an export licence to remove the work from France
Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies, together with whatever ideologies, rites, myths and magic may be related to them. It may refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences; the term "mysticism" has Ancient Greek origins with various determined meanings. Derived from the Greek word μύω, meaning "to close" or "to conceal", mysticism referred to the biblical liturgical and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity. During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to "extraordinary experiences and states of mind". In modern times, "mysticism" has acquired a limited definition, with broad applications, as meaning the aim at the "union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God"; this limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices, valuing "mystical experience" as a key element of mysticism.
Broadly defined, mysticism can be found in all religious traditions, from indigenous religions and folk religions like shamanism, to organised religions like the Abrahamic faiths and Indian religions, modern spirituality, New Age and New Religious Movements. Since the 1960s scholars have debated the merits of perennial and constructionist approaches in the scientific research of "mystical experiences"; the perennial position is now "largely dismissed by scholars", most scholars using a contextualist approach, which takes the cultural and historical context into consideration. "Mysticism" is derived from the Greek μυω, meaning "I conceal", its derivative μυστικός, meaning'an initiate'. The verb μυώ has received a quite different meaning in the Greek language; the primary meanings it has are "induct" and "initiate". Secondary meanings include "introduce", "make someone aware of something", "train", "familiarize", "give first experience of something"; the related form of the verb μυέω appears in the New Testament.
As explained in Strong's Concordance, it properly means shutting the eyes and mouth to experience mystery. Its figurative meaning is to be initiated into the "mystery revelation"; the meaning derives from the initiatory rites of the pagan mysteries. Appearing in the New Testament is the related noun μυστήριον, the root word of the English term "mystery"; the term means a mystery or secret, of which initiation is necessary. In the New Testament it takes the meaning of the counsels of God, once hidden but now revealed in the Gospel or some fact thereof, the Christian revelation and/or particular truths or details of the Christian revelation. According to Thayer's Greek Lexicon, the term μυστήριον in classical Greek meant "a hidden thing", "secret". A particular meaning it took in Classical antiquity was a religious secret or religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals. In the Septuagint and the New Testament the meaning it took was that of a hidden purpose or counsel, a secret will.
It is sometimes used for the hidden wills of humans, but is more used for the hidden will of God. Elsewhere in the Bible it takes the meaning of the hidden sense of things, it is used behind images seen in visions and dreams. The Vulgate translates the Greek term to the Latin sacramentum; the related noun μύστης means the person initiated to the mysteries. According to Ana Jiménez San Cristobal in her study of Greco-Roman mysteries and Orphism, the singular form μύστης and the plural form μύσται are used in ancient Greek texts to mean the person or persons initiated to religious mysteries; these followers of mystery religions belonged to a select group, where access was only gained through an initiation. She finds that the terms were associated with the term βάκχος, used for a special class of initiates of the Orphic mysteries; the terms are first found connected in the writings of Heraclitus. Such initiates are identified in texts with the persons who have been purified and have performed certain rites.
A passage of the Cretans by Euripides seems to explain that the μύστης who devotes himself to an ascetic life, renounces sexual activities, avoids contact with the dead becomes known as βάκχος. Such initiates were believers in the god Dionysus Bacchus who took on the name of their god and sought an identification with their deity; until the sixth century the practice of what is now called mysticism was referred to by the term contemplatio, c.q. theoria. According to Johnson, "oth contemplation and mysticism speak of the eye of love, looking at, gazing at, aware of divine realities." According to Peter Moore, the term "mysticism" is "problematic but indispensable." It is a generic term which joins together into one concept separate practices and ideas which developed separately, According to Dupré, "mysticism" has been defined in many ways, Merkur notes that the definition, or meaning, of the term "mysticism" has changed through the ages. Moore further notes that the term "mysticism" has become a popular label for "anything nebulous, occult, or supernatural."Parsons warns that "what might at times seem to be a straightforward phenomenon exhibiting an unambiguous commonality has become, at least within the academic study of religion and controversial on multiple levels".
Because of its Christian overtones, the lack of similar terms in other cultures, some scholars regard the term "mysticism" to be inadequ
Crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most between AD 30 and 33. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources, although there is no consensus among historians on the exact details. According to the canonical gospels, Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink after saying I am thirsty, he was hung between two convicted thieves and, according to the Gospel of Mark, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages, they divided his garments among themselves and cast lots for his seamless robe, according to the Gospel of John.
According to the Gospel of John after Jesus' death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died blood and water gushed from the wound. The Bible describes seven statements that Jesus made while he was on the cross, as well as several supernatural events that occurred. Collectively referred to as the Passion, Jesus' suffering and redemptive death by crucifixion are the central aspects of Christian theology concerning the doctrines of salvation and atonement; the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion are considered to be two certain facts about Jesus. James Dunn states that these "two facts in the life of Jesus command universal assent" and "rank so high on the'almost impossible to doubt or deny' scale of historical facts" that they are the starting points for the study of the historical Jesus. Bart Ehrman states that the crucifixion of Jesus on the orders of Pontius Pilate is the most certain element about him. John Dominic Crossan states that the crucifixion of Jesus is as certain as any historical fact can be.
Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Craig Blomberg states that most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable. Christopher M. Tuckett states that, although the exact reasons for the death of Jesus are hard to determine, one of the indisputable facts about him is that he was crucified. While scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it. For example, both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a "church creation". Geza Vermes views the crucifixion as a historical event but provides his own explanation and background for it. John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the criterion of embarrassment, Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.
Meier states that a number of other criteria, e.g. the criterion of multiple attestation and the criterion of coherence help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Although all ancient sources relating to crucifixion are literary, the 1968 archeological discovery just northeast of Jerusalem of the body of a crucified man dated to the 1st century provided good confirmatory evidence that crucifixions occurred during the Roman period according to the manner in which the crucifixion of Jesus is described in the gospels; the crucified man was identified as Yehohanan ben Hagkol and died about 70 AD, around the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome. The analyses at the Hadassah Medical School estimated. Another relevant archaeological find, which dates to the 1st century AD, is an unidentified heel bone with a spike discovered in a Jerusalem gravesite, now held by the Israel Antiquities Authority and displayed in the Israel Museum; the earliest detailed accounts of the death of Jesus are contained in the four canonical gospels.
There are other, more implicit references in the New Testament epistles. In the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts his death in three separate places. All four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, initial trial at the Sanhedrin and final trial at Pilate's court, where Jesus is flogged, condemned to death, is led to the place of crucifixion carrying his cross before Roman soldiers induce Simon of Cyrene to carry it, Jesus is crucified and resurrected from the dead, his death is described as other books of the New Testament. In each Gospel these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an hour-by-hour account of what is happening. After arriving at Golgotha, Jesus was offered wine mixed with gall to drink. Matthew's and Mark's Gospels record, he was crucified and hung between two convicted thieves. According to some translations of the original Greek, the thieves may have been bandits or Jewish rebels.
According to Mark's Gospel, he endured the torment of crucifixion for some six hours from the third hour, at 9 am, until his death at the ninth hour, corresponding to about 3 pm. The soldiers affixed a sign above his head stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" which, according to the Gospel of John, was in three languages, divided his garments and cast l
The Little Mermaid (1989 film)
The Little Mermaid is a 1989 American animated musical fantasy romance film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and Walt Disney Pictures. Loosely based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid tells the story of a mermaid princess named Ariel, who dreams of becoming human. Written and directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with art direction by Michael Peraza Jr. and Donald A. Towns, the film features the voices of Jodi Benson, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Pat Carroll, Samuel E. Wright, Jason Marin, Kenneth Mars, Buddy Hackett, René Auberjonois; the 28th Disney animated feature film, The Little Mermaid was released to theaters on November 17, 1989 to positive reviews, garnering $84 million at the domestic box office during its initial release, $211 million in total lifetime gross worldwide. After the success of the 1988 Disney/Amblin film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid is given credit for breathing life back into the art of Disney animated feature films after a string of critical or commercial failures produced by Disney that dated back to the early 1970s.
It marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance. The film won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. A stage adaptation of the film with a book by Doug Wright and additional songs by Alan Menken and new lyricist Glenn Slater opened in Denver in July 2007 and began performances on Broadway January 10, 2008 starring Sierra Boggess. In May 2016, Disney announced that a live-action remake is in development. A sixteen-year-old mermaid princess named Ariel is dissatisfied with underwater life in the kingdom of Atlantica and is fascinated by the human world. With her best friend Flounder, Ariel collects human artifacts in her grotto and goes to the surface of the ocean to visit Scuttle, a seagull who offers inaccurate knowledge of human culture, she ignores the warnings of her father King Triton, the ruler of Atlantica, Sebastian, a lobster who serves as Triton's adviser and court composer, that contact between merpeople and humans is forbidden. One night, Flounder, an unwilling Sebastian travel to the ocean surface to watch a celebration for Prince Eric's birthday on a ship.
Ariel falls in love with Eric. Shortly afterward, a violent storm arrives, which tosses Eric overboard. Ariel brings him to shore, she sings to him, but leaves just as he regains consciousness to avoid being discovered. Fascinated by the memory of her voice, Eric vows to find the girl who saved and sang to him, Ariel vows to find a way to join him and his world. Noticing a change in Ariel's behavior, Triton questions Sebastian about her behavior and learns of her love for Eric. Triton confronts Ariel in her grotto, destroys the artifacts she collected with his trident. After Triton leaves, two eels named Jetsam convince Ariel to visit Ursula the sea witch. Ursula makes a deal with Ariel to transform her into a human for three days in exchange for Ariel's voice, which Ursula puts in a nautilus shell. Within these three days, Ariel must receive the "kiss of true love" from Eric. If Ariel gets Eric to kiss her, she will remain a human permanently. Otherwise, she will belong to Ursula. Ariel accepts and is given human legs and taken to the surface by Flounder and Sebastian.
Eric finds Ariel on the beach and takes her to his castle, unaware that she is the one who had rescued him earlier. Ariel spends time with Eric, at the end of the second day, they kiss but are thwarted by Flotsam and Jetsam. Angered at Ariel's close success, Ursula disguises herself as a beautiful young woman named Vanessa and appears onshore singing with Ariel's voice. Eric recognizes the song and, in her disguise, Ursula casts a hypnotic enchantment on Eric to make him forget about Ariel; the next day, Ariel discovers. Scuttle discovers Vanessa's true identity and informs Ariel who pursues the wedding barge. Sebastian informs Triton, Scuttle disrupts the wedding with the help of various sea animals. In the chaos, the nautilus shell around Ursula's neck is destroyed, restoring Ariel's voice and breaking Ursula's enchantment over Eric. Realizing that Ariel is the girl who saved his life, Eric rushes to kiss her, but the sun sets and Ariel transforms back into a mermaid, she gets kidnapped by Ursula.
Triton confronts Ursula and demands her to let Ariel go. At Ursula's urging, Triton agrees to take Ariel's place as Ursula's prisoner. Ariel is released as Triton loses his authority over Atlantica. Ursula declares herself the new ruler, but before she can use the trident, Eric intervenes with a harpoon. Ursula attempts to kill Eric, but Ariel intervenes, causing Ursula to inadvertently kill Flotsam and Jetsam. Enraged, Ursula uses the trident to expand into monstrous proportions. Ariel and Eric reunite on the surface, she gains full control of the entire ocean, creating a storm and bringing sunken ships to the surface. Just as Ursula is about to destroy Ariel, Eric steers a wrecked ship towards Ursula, impaling her with its splintered bowsprit. With Ursula defeated and the other polyps in Ursula's garden revert to their original forms. Realizing that Ariel loves Eric, Triton willingly changes her from a mermaid into a human permanently and approves her marriage to Eric. Ariel and Eric depart. Jodi Benson as Princess Ariel Christopher Dani
Martha and Mary Magdalene (Caravaggio)
Martha and Mary Magdalene is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Alternate titles include Martha Reproving Mary, The Conversion of the Magdalene, the Alzaga Caravaggio. Caravaggio's Martha and Mary is dated to 1598–99, when he was in the entourage of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. Little is known of its history between those years and 25 June 1971, when its owners attempted to sell it at Christie's in London, it remained unsold at 130,000 guineas, despite the confidence of the restorer Juan Corradini of Buenos Aires. Converts were Benedict Nicolson and Mina Gregori. Today it is considered an autograph work, it was acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1973. It is thought that the painting was in the collection of Caravaggio's patron Ottavio Costa, his will of 6 August 1606, contains a painting by this description and states that Riggerio Tritonio, secretary of Cardinal Montalto, is to choose between the Martha and Mary and a Saint Francis.
Since the Saint Francis appears in the inventory of Tritinio, it has been assumed that the Martha and Mary passed to Herrera in late 1606. Giovanni Enriquez de Herrera died on 1 March 1610, without a will, thus leaving his four sons to decide on the fate of his possessions, it has been speculated that it remained in Rome until the 1620s, but the only firm evidence for its provenance after the Herrera family is a seal and inscriptions on the back of the original canvas with the names Niccolò Panzani, Emilia Panzani and Anna E. Panzani; this family has not been traced. Since its rediscovery, its influence has become apparent, most notably in the number of copies, a now lost work by Carlo Saraceni and a well known version by Orazio Gentileschi, today in Munich; the painting shows the sisters Mary from the New Testament. Martha is in the act of converting Mary from her life of pleasure to the life of virtue in Christ. Martha, her face shadowed, leans forward, passionately arguing with Mary, who twirls an orange blossom between her fingers as she holds a mirror, symbolising the vanity she is about to give up.
The power of the image lies in Mary's face, caught at the moment. Martha and Mary was painted while Caravaggio was living in the palazzo of his patron, Cardinal Del Monte, his paintings for Del Monte fall into two groups: the secular genre pieces such as The Musicians, The Lute Player, Bacchus - all featuring boys and youths in somewhat claustophobic interior scenes - and religious images such as Rest on the Flight into Egypt and Ecstasy of Saint Francis. Among the religious paintings was a group of four works featuring the same two female models, together or singly; the models were two well-known courtesans who frequented the palazzi of Del Monte and other wealthy and powerful art patrons, their names were Anna Bianchini and Fillide Melandroni. Anna Bianchini appeared first as a solitary Mary Magdalene in the Penitent Magdalene of about 1597. Fillide Melandroni appeared in a secular Portrait of a Courtesan done the same year for Del Monte's friend and fellow art-lover, the banker Vincenzo Giustiniani.
In 1598 Caravaggio painted Fillide again as Saint Catherine, capturing a beauty full of intelligence and spirit. In Martha and Mary the two are shown together, Fillide fitted to the role of Mary, Anna to the mousier but insistent presence as Martha. A finely grained cream-brown table running in front of the sisters displays three objects, of which a Venetian mirror is the most obvious, it reflects the Magdalen's hand and a rectangular window, to which reflection her middle finger points. The other two objects are a dish with a sponge; the type of dish was called a sponzarol by the Venetians and, in this case, is made of alabaster. Mary wears red, the colour of the Magdalen, a dress similar to one Caravaggio employs in his Portrait of a Courtesan and Saint Catherine, with embroidery on the blouse, similar to what we see in his Penitent Magdalen; the writings of the Church Fathers established Martha and Mary as representative of the active versus the contemplative aspects of Christian faith. This distinction was exemplified in art like Bernardino Luini's Martha and Mary, once in the Barberini Collection in Rome, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
Caravaggio would have known the painting. The painting was investigated by the scientists at the Detroit Institute of Arts; the pigment analysis revealed the usual pigments of the Baroque period such as lead white and yellow ochre and azurite