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The Magdalene (c.1550). Jan Massys (Flemish, c.1510-1575). Oil on panel. Fairfax House, York. Throughout his career Massys continued to work in a traditional style. He seems not to have had any contact with his more progressive contemporaries, such as Frans Floris and Jan Sanders van Hemessen. He stuck mainly to a small number of popular subjects, which he often repeated: the Virgin and Child, St Jerome and Mary Magdalene.
St. Gertrude relates that St. Mary Magdalene said to St. Mechtilde: "Whosoever shall give God thanks for all the tears I shed upon the feet of Jesus, our most, merciful God will grant him, through my intercession, remission of all his sins before his death, and a great increase of love to God." O Most merciful Jesus, I give Thee thanks for that work of piety which the blessed Mary Magdalene wrought on Thee when she washed thy feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and ...