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Mary Magdalene at the Door of Simon the Pharisee

19th Century

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was one of the Pre-Raphaelites who made several visits to Penkill. This mounted print was a gift to Alice Boyd and Rossetti has inscribed it;

"To Miss Boyd, with Kindly Regards, D. G. Rossetti, 1868".

The frame also bears a poem written by Rossetti that year. The poem is an exchange, imagined by Rossetti, between Mary Magdalene and her would be human lover which reveals Mary's total commitment to her Lord, forsaking human love:

"Why wilt thou cast the roses from thine hair?
Nay be thou all a rose - wreath, lips and cheek.
Nay not this house - that banquet house we seek;
See how they kiss and enter - come thou there.
This delicate day of love we two will share
Till at our ear love's whispering night shall speak.
What, sweet one, - holdst thou still the foolish freak?
Nay, when I kiss thy feet they'll leave the stair."

"Oh loose me! Seest thou not my Bridegroom's face
That draws me to Him, for His feet my kiss,
My hair, my tears he craves today: - and oh!
What words can tell what other day and place
Shall see me clasp those blood-stained feet of his?
He needs me, calls me, loves me: Let me go!"


Acquired with Assistance from the National Fund for Acquisitions administered with Government Funds by the National Museums of Scotland.


The Dick Institute
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East Ayrshire Council

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