Jerome and Mary Magdalene: Bernini’s penitent saints
Let us present to you two magnificent sculptures Gian Lorenzo Bernini created between 1661 and 1663.
The statues are about two meters tall, and represent Saint Jerome and Saint Mary Magdalene; they are kept at the Siena Cathedral, inside the Chigi Chapel – which Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, entrusted to the Neapolitan artist in 1660.
Both saints are represented in spiritual penance: Mary Magdalene is suffering at the end of her earthly life, which according to Greek tradition was in Ephesus.
Saint Jerome – a Doctor of the Church, usually represented in the act of translating the New Testament – is portrayed instead as he embraces the cross of Jesus Christ