From medieval times, through the Renaissance and down to the present day, Mary Magdalene has been among the most painted and sculpted of all classical figures. Artists have adored her and churches have been consecrated to her but, for all that, she has been constantly vilified by the Christian religious establishment. In the New Testament Gospels, Mary is given as Jesus¹ companion, his financial sponsor, and a woman that he loved. Church doctrine, however, claims her to have been a sinful harlot, albeit a repentant sinner who was finally admitted to the sainthood as late as 1969.
Legacy of the Magdalene follows the life of Mary as it has been portrayed in the world of fine art, while also investigating why so many of her depictions are of non-biblical events. In this regard, we find evidence of Magdalene passages deleted from the original Gospels before they were approved for New Testament inclusion in the 4th century. Additionally, much is learned from other Gospels that were omitted entirely from the canonical selection. The story that emerges is one of Mary¹s nuptial relationship with Jesus, her subsequent exile from Judaea, and the persecution of her heirs by a succession of Roman emperors.
Laurence Gardner, who sadly died in August 2010, was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and a Knight Templar, holding a number of chivalric offices in Western and Central Europe. Best known as a revisionist and constitutional historian, Laurence was a regular transatlantic broadcaster giving lecture presentations around the world in centres such as London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Sydney.Formerly Conservation Consultant to the Fine Art Trade Guild, his libretto compositions have been performed at London’s Royal Opera House...
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