I am grateful to the co-editors of this special issue of CrossCurrents for the inclusion of my work. Once again, I am pleased to acknowledge the technical support provided by my former student, Daniel G. Callahan, and for his careful reading and critique of my essay. Further, I wish to recognize that special form of collegial support which led me to live a life of the mind in the academy of scholars, and that I have continued to receive in my research on this particular painting, especially in terms of Rogier's iconology of the Magdalene, from a number of colleagues, first and foremost, Lorne Campbell, Erika Langmuir, Gabriele Finaldi, Moshe Barasch, Alfred Acres, Barbara Baert, Barbara von Barghahn, Veronique Vandekerchove, Arthur Hall Smith, Diana Scarisbrick, Margaret Scott, and Joseph N. Tylenda, S.J., through conversations filled with passionate energy and insightful criticisms.
A note on the spellings of Magdalene in this essay: The English translations of this female saint's name have several variants from Magdalene to Magdalen and Magdalena. My own preference is Magdalene; however, when variations appear in this text, it is to maintain accuracy of the original authors of the quoted or published resources.