29 April 2019

513px-The_Magdalen_Reading_-_Rogier_van_der_Weyden

We were given the heavenly Books do Furnish a Painting by Jamie Camplin and Maria Ranauro: ‘Thousands of fine paintings include books in their subject matter. This companionable survey explains how and why books became the single most ubiquitous feature of our cultural lives and, in large measure, of our everyday existence’ (blurb). This is The Magdalena Reading (1438), probably by Rogier van der Weyden, it’s in the National Gallery. But what is the white porcelain object in the bottom right-hand corner?¬†Ah ha, Wikipedia tells us it’s a jar of ointment (among other very interesting info).